ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO- The University of Missouri football coaching staff got smaller Sunday afternoon, when Head Coach Barry Odom announced he was relieving DeMontie Cross of his duties as co-Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers coach. The move comes after the Tigers defense gave up 31 points in a loss against South Carolina and 43 last week against Missouri State, an FCS opponent.
“I am very appreciative of all that DeMontie has done for Mizzou, and am sorry that this did not work out, however, after careful evaluation, I believe it is important to make this change now,” Odom said in a statement released by the school.
Odom, a former linebacker and sought after defensive coordinator before being hired to succeed Gary Pinkel, has had a hands-on approach with coaching the defense after the Tigers got off to a tough start in 2016 under a new scheme on defense. Since that time, Cross and Ryan Walters, the other co-coordinator who also coaches safeties, have been coordinators in name only. Walters remains on staff.
Cross is a St. Louis native from Hazelwood East and joined Odom’s original staff, coming over from TCU.
The Tigers host Purdue next Saturday at Faurot Field.