Southern, Odums continue talks

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern coach football Dawson Odums and school officials continued contract talks but no deal had been reach as of late Wednesday. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern coach football Dawson Odums and school officials continued contract talks but no deal had been reach as of late Wednesday.

Southern continued negotiations with football coach Dawson Odums on a new contract Wednesday, but no agreement was reached.

The university extended an offer to Odums, who led the Jaguars to the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship this past season, on Tuesday afternoon. Athletic Director William Broussard and Odums’ agent, Burton Rocks, spoke Tuesday night and continued negotiations Wednesday.

Rocks wouldn’t comment other than to say “there is ongoing dialogue.” Broussard said he was “awaiting approval” from Odums and Rocks and expected to resume talks late Wednesday night.

Odums has one year left on his contract with a base salary of $140,000, though he made an additional $52,500 in incentives this past season, his first full season as head coach.

Southern promoted Odums from defensive coordinator to interim head coach after Stump Mitchell was reassigned in the wake of an 0-2 start to the 2012 season.

Meanwhile, North Carolina Central, Odums’ alma mater, which interviewed him last week for its vacant head coaching position, could have a new coach as early as Thursday. The university’s board is scheduled to discuss its candidates during a conference call Thursday afternoon and might announce a hiring shortly thereafter.

Media reports in North Carolina indicate that South Alabama wide receivers coach James Mack has emerged as a strong candidate. Nevada tight ends coach James Spady also interviewed. The fourth candidate to interview, Winston-Salem State coach Connell Maynor, withdrew from consideration Tuesday to accept the head coaching position at Hampton University.

The school that Southern defeated in the SWAC title game, Jackson State, is looking for a head coach after unexpectedly firing Rick Comegy on Tuesday. Comegy had a 55-35 record in eight seasons with the Tigers, who also lost in the 2012 SWAC title game.

JSU dismissed the entire staff except for recruiting coordinator Antonio Knight, who was named interim head coach.

A Tigers spokesperson said the university would expedite its search in order to minimize the impact on recruiting.