Southern awaits Dawson Odums decision on contract offer

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern University Jaguars quarterback Dray Joseph (10) shakes Southern University Jaguars head coach Dawson Odums hand before receiving his most valuable offensive player award during the SWAC Championship on Saturday in Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern University Jaguars quarterback Dray Joseph (10) shakes Southern University Jaguars head coach Dawson Odums hand before receiving his most valuable offensive player award during the SWAC Championship on Saturday in Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Southern football coach Dawson Odums is mulling a contract extension offer from the Jaguars and could have a decision by Tuesday night.

Athletic director William Broussard made the offer to Dawson, who has one year remaining on his contract, Tuesday afternoon.

“I hope to get an answer this evening,” Broussard said late Tuesday afternoon. “The best case scenario is we have a verbal agreement this evening. If not, hopefully (Wednesday).”

If Odums agrees to a new deal it would be sbject to approval by the SU System Board of Supervisors, which next meets in January.

Odums’ current deal calls for an annual base salary of $140,000 and he earned an additional $52.500 in incentives this past season when the Jaguars won their first Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship in 10 years. Broussard wouldn’t disclose details of the offer.

Burton Rocks, Odums’ agent, said Monday he wouldn’t comment publicly until negotiations were completed. He did not respond to messages Tuesday.

The negotiations heated up as North Carolina Central, Odums’ alma mater, closed in on its choice for a new head coach.

Odums is one of four candidates to interview with the Eagles and the field narrowed to three Tuesday morning when Winston-Salem State coach Connell Maynor withdrew from consideration to accept the head coaching position at Hampton College.

North Carolina Central, which has also interviewed Nevada assistant James Spady and South Alabama State assistant James Mack, has scheduled a conference call to discuss its search Thursday and could announce a hiring shortly thereafter.

“I think I have a good enough working relationship with coach Odums that if we were in danger of losing him I think he would have looked me in the eye and told me,” Broussard said. “I still remain confident until I hear otherwise that he wants to be at Southern.”

Broussard said he first spoke with Rocks last Saturday to discuss “ballpark figures.” After the conclusion of a lengthy, campus-wide budget meeting Tuesday, Broussard conferred with Southern chancellor James Llorens “to put a fine point” on the offer.

After speaking on the phone with Rocks, who’s in New York, Broussard said he visited with Odums for about 10 minutes in the coach’s office.

Then he began the wait for the phone to ring.