NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State University has announced the hiring of Dawson Odums as the Spartans' next head football coach. The announcement was made by Director of Athletics Melody Webb.
A native of Shelby, North Carolina, Odums comes to Hampton Roads with over 20 years of championship coaching pedigree and a track record of developing student-athletes both on and off the field Most recently, Odums enjoyed a stellar 10-year run in the Southwestern Athletic Conference at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Odums directed Southern to a winning record in each of his eight full seasons at the helm of the program, including a 5-1 mark this spring. In his last five seasons, the Jaguars posted a 29-6 SWAC record. His overall record with the Jaguars was 63-35.
After joining the Jaguars as defensive line coach in 2011, Odums was elevated to interim head coach two games into the 2012 season before earning the permanent head coach position following the year. On the field, Odums led Southern to a 53-17 SWAC mark over the last nine seasons. His ledger includes one SWAC championship (2013), one SWAC Coach of the Year honor (2013) and four SWAC West Division titles (2013, '14, '18, '19).
Odums' teams at Southern excelled in all three phases of the game. In the abbreviated 2021 spring season, Southern ranked first nationally in blocked punts, third in third-down conversions, sixth in sacks and 15th in total offense. Southern is ranked 19th in the latest Top 25 FCS Coaches Poll.
Southern posted top-20 total offenses in 2015 and 2016 and a No. 13 mark in rushing offense in 2019. Odums' squads ranked in the top 10 in the FCS in punt return average four times, including leading the country in 2017, and also ranked top-10 in kickoff return average twice.
Odums' other coaching stints include a pair of stops in the MEAC, at North Carolina A&T (defensive line coach/special teams coordinator, 2008-09; defensive coordinator, 2010) and Bethune-Cookman (defensive line coach, 2005-07). He has also coached at Division II Clark Atlanta (assistant head coach/defensive coordinator, 2002-03; interim head coach, 2004), Georgia Southern (outside linebackers coach, 2000; defensive ends coach, 2001) and Gardner-Webb (defensive line coach, 1999).
~NSU Sports Information