Coach Ryan Odom’s Contract with Utah State

With Utah State’s season coming to a close with a heartbreaking loss to Colorado State in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas, the Aggies are hoping for some type of postseason tournament invite. With a NET rating of 61, they won’t be getting in to the NCAA tournament this year, but they do have a decent shot at the NIT or at worst, one of the lesser tournaments (CBI or CIT).

Utah State Coach Ryan Odom

After losing coach Craig Smith to the University of Utah in the off-season, Utah State hired Ryan Odom from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Coach Odom’s claim to fame was leading his UMBC Retrievers to a 20 point victory over Virginia in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The Retrievers were the first 16-seed to ever beat a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Ryan Odom is the son of Dave Odom who coached East Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest, and South Carolina.

USUStats has obtained Coach Odom’s contract with Utah State. Here are some interesting takeaways from the agreement:

Base Pay (including $300,000 for media appearances per year):

Year 1 – $791,796 (pro-rated amount for 360 days out of 365)
Year 2 – $800,000
Year 3 – $800,000
Year 4 – $800,000
Year 5 – $800,000

The base contract is $500K per year plus $300K for media appearances. Interestingly there are no built in raises each year.


Team wins the National Championship = $100,000
Team qualifies as a Final Four Participant = $50,000
Team wins the Conference Tournament Championship = $25,000
Team wins the regular season Conference Championship (either outright
Champion or Co-Champion) = $15,000
Team maintains a multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 952 = $10,000
Team granted an at-large NCAA Tournament Bid = $20,000
Team wins an NCAA Tournament Game (including a First Four Game, but excluding the National Championship Game) = $20,000
Note: each win at an NCAA Tournament will qualify Coach for a $20,000
incentive payment.
Team invited to the National Invitation Tournament = $10,000
Team wins the National Invitation Tournament Championship = $10,000
Team is ranked (Associated Press Poll) at the end of a season in the:
Top 10 = $50,000
Top 20 = $25,000
Top 25 = $10,000
Note: This category of supplemental compensation is mutually exclusive,
meaning that only one amount will be paid if the Team is ranked within the Top 25 (e.g. If the team was ranked as 14, then $25,000 would be awarded; NOT $25,000 for the Top 20 AND $10,000 for the Top 25.
Coach is selected as the “Conference Coach of the Year” by the Conference as voted by the Conference coaches = $10,000
Coach is selected as the national “Coach of the Year” by the Associated Press, the Atlanta Tipoff Club (Naismith College Coach of the Year), or the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) = $25,000
Team wins a rival game against BYU or University of Utah = $5,000

Buyout Clause (in my own words):

If Utah State were to terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. USU fires Odom for low performance), they are required to pay 75% of the pro-rated amount of base pay still remaining on the contract.

For example, as of March 31, 2022 Coach Odom will have $3.2M remaining on his contract for years 2-5. If Utah State were to fire him, they would owe 75% of that remaining salary, or $2.4M.

If Coach Odom were to terminate the agreement for convenience (i.e. Odom leaves for another position elsewhere), it gets a bit more complicated. If he were to leave any time during years 1 or 2 (before April 1, 2023), the buyout would be 50% of the remaining cumulative salary owed. If he were to leave during year 3 or thereafter (April 1, 2023 or after), the buyout would be 35% of the remaining cumulative salary owed.

For example, if coach accepted another position on March 31, 2022, the buyout would be 50% of the remaining $3.2M on his contract for years 2-5, or $1.6M. If he were to leave on April 1, 2023 the buyout would be 35% of the remaining $2.4M on his contract, or $840K.

Differences between the Smith and Odom contracts:

A few things were different between Craig Smith’s original contract and Coach Odom’s contract. Coach Smith had a lower per-year base salary, but had built in raises each year. Coach Odom’s contract has a base salary of $800,000 per year with no raises built in. Coach Smith’s original buyout clause was 75% of the remaining contract for both Utah State and the coach if either were to terminate for convenience. Coach Odom’s buyout clause is more favorable to the coach with a smaller buyout amount that reduces even further after the first two seasons. The final two differences that I noticed were slight modifications to bonus amounts. The amount for winning a regular season championship was reduced from $25K to $15K. The amount for winning a First Four NCAA Tournament game was increased from $10K to $20K.

Final Thoughts:

With the first regular season under his belt, Coach Odom showed that he can pull off some big victories (beat Oklahoma to win the Myrtle Beach Invitational early in the year), and could compete with everyone. However, he couldn’t push the team over the hump in several key games this year that were lost by one or two possessions. A few made baskets here or there throughout the season and the Aggies would be a lock for an at-large bid. But as it stands, we are on the outside looking in hoping for a second-rate invitation for any kind of postseason tournament. Odom will likely lose some key pieces this year (Horvath, and likely Bean, Miller, and Eytle Rock), and will need to bring in some key pieces to compete for a championship in the Mountain West. What were your thoughts on Coach Odom’s first year as an Aggie coach? Let us know in the comments below.

Click the image below to download the official contract discussed in this article.