Gamecocks Will See Odom Go

By Josh Herwitt - January 18, 2008

Here's a newsflash for you: Dave Odom won't be coaching in 2009.

A day after Pepperdine coach Vance Walberg called it quits out in Malibu, the 65-year-old South Carolina coach will be retiring at the end of this season after declaring Friday that it's time for him to finally leave the sidelines.

Because while he might not be ready to go right now, he can see that time being very soon.

"I'm not at the end, but I can see it," he said. "Truly, I'm on the back end of not only my career, but my life."

Odom will finish his seventh season at South Carolina after leading the Gamecocks to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and two straight NIT championships the following two years, but recently, he's come under fire for his team's often poor and inconsistent play, and that was certainly enough to make him give up his throne in Columbia, S.C., when things turned sour earlier this season.

"There will be those, through you [the media], who will stick their chest out and say 'We got it done. We were loud and we were angry and our voice was heard and a change was made,'" he said. "And I will tell you without any fear of contradiction, those people could not be further from the truth."

What's not further from the truth is Odom's four 20-win seasons, the last coming during the 2005-06 campaign, or his eight NCAA Tournament appearances in his 12 years at Wake Forest.

Yet what's ultimately left Odom to retire is South Carolina's dismal start to the season, one that saw the Gamecocks drop close games to N.C. State, George Mason, Baylor and UNC Asheville, and now it'll be up to the three-time ACC Coach of the Year to do everything he can to leave his mark on a game that's dictated his life for more than 22 years.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 12:08 PM on January 18, 2008

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