Norfolk State hires Dawson Odums as head football coach

Southern TCU Football
Posted at 5:15 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 12:00:01-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Dawson Odums, the head football coach at Southern University, has been selected as the new head football coach at Norfolk State University. This, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the hire. They spoke to News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler on the condition of anonymity because the news had yet to be officially released by the school. The hire was first reported by Steven J. Gaither of

Southern later confirmed the news in a release Tuesday evening.

Norfolk State officially announced the hire Wednesday morning.

Odums, who recently completed a 10-year run at Southern, is a native of Shelby, North Carolina and graduated from current-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) program North Carolina Central where he played football. He has nearly two decades of coaching experience, including three seasons in various positions at MEAC program, North Carolina A&T prior to taking the job at Southern. As the head coach at SU, Odums' record was 63-and-35 - including a 53-and-17 mark in SWAC play. His Jaguars team went 5-and-1 in its abbreviated spring 2021 season. In his tenure, the Jaguars won four SWAC western division titles and claimed the 2013 conference crown.

“I am so excited to welcome Coach Odums and his family to Norfolk State University,” Norfolk State University Director of Athletics Melody Webb said. “With his unprecedented success on the field and his ability to successfully build a program athletically and academically, I look forward to having him at the helm of NSU football."

"This is a new day and a new beginning for the Norfolk State University football program. I believe Coach Odums cares about the HBCU mission and will bring new energy to Norfolk State that will benefit our student-athletes,” NSU President Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston said.

“We believe Coach Odums will lead these young men to success in the classroom, in the community and on the football field. We are happy to welcome him to the Spartan family.”“I am grateful and excited to be the next head football coach at Norfolk State University,” Odums said. “I would like to say thank you to Dr. Adams-Gaston, Ms. Melody Webb and the Board of Visitors for the opportunity to build the Spartan Nation football program. Together we will rise! Go Spartans!”

According to a source, members of the current Norfolk State football staff were briefed on the hire during a 2 p.m. meeting Tuesday with NSU Athletics Director Melody Webb. Multiple sources say a team meeting is scheduled for Noon Wednesday.

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 after a contract extension in 2017.

"His tenure as the Head Football coach will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to our student-athletes not only on the football field, but in the classroom as well," Southern Director of Athletics Roman Banks said in a statement. "We appreciate him for developing young people and bringing us back to the top of the SWAC with our championship runs. While we are certainly disappointed to see Dawson and his family leave our program, we are excited for their new endeavors."

Odums will replace Latrell Scott, who resigned March 3rd.