Coveting, cooperation among reasons coach Dawson Odums left Southern for Norfolk State

Dawson Odums, Norfolk State
Posted at 10:06 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 12:00:56-04

NORFOLK, Va. - It's a confounding coaching move in the eyes of many.

Why would Dawson Odums leave his job as the head football coach at Southern University for the same role at Norfolk State?

Odums, who was hired as the 18th head football coach in NSU history, spent nine seasons in the same role at Southern - a national power and one of the strongest brands in Black college football. During his tenure, SU played for the SWAC title four times - and Odums' teams only lost to Grambling, their arch rival, thrice. His overall record as Southern's bench boss was 63-and-35.

Meanwhile, Norfolk State has not had a winning season since 2011.

News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler asked Odums about his move during Wednesday's introductory press conference.

"Sometimes your blessing is not where you currently stand, but it's in your next destination," Odums explained. "I prayed about it. I did not make an overnight decision."

"[You have an] AD (Athletics Director, Melody Webb) that's just coming in and trying to solidify her legacy. It's important to Ms. Webb. It's important to [NSU President] Dr. Adams-Gaston. It's important to be at a place where they were willing to work with you, and they're willing to want you and welcome you into their family. Norfolk state happened at the right time."

Friday, News 3 obtained the details of Odums' contract. It's a five-year deal paying him $240,000 annually.

Odums, according to The Advocate, earned a salary of $180,000 per season at Southern after a contract extension in 2017.