Missouri head coach Barry Odom has hired an longtime college football defensive coach with a strong pedigree to be the new coach of the Tigers inside linebackers.
Vernon Hargreaves will join the Missouri coaching staff, the school announced in a release on Thursday afternoon.
“I’ve known Vernon for a number of years and have always respected the way his position plays the game,” Odom said in the school’s release. “He will be a great teacher and mentor for our student-athletes. His experience will be so valuable for our program. I’m excited about Vernon and his family joining our Mizzou family.”
Hargreaves spent the last three seasons as the linebackers coach for the Arkansas Razorbacks and brings 33 years of coaching experience with him to Columbia.
Hargreaves most successful coaching tenure came with the historically good Miami Hurricanes from 1998-2005, during which the Hurricanes went to back-to-back BCS Championship games. Hargreaves coached the linebackers on all of those teams, and the Hurricanes defense in 2001 only allowed 9.4 points per game.
During his Hurricanes tenure, seven linebackers were selected in the NFL Draft.
Hargreaves also has experiences working with both Barry and Brian Odom and is excited to both teach and learn things from some of the younger members on the Mizzou coaching staff as well.
“I worked with Brian at Houston, and Barry was the defensive coordinator at Memphis when we were there, and he did a great job at Memphis, that’s where our relationship started,” Hargreaves said. “Having the opportunity to work with him and the defenses that he’s been associated with is very exciting, and then of course the familiarity I have with Brian, and then also Brick Haley, who I’ve known over the years is important to me. I’ll tell you this too, Ryan Walters is a superstar, he’s going to be a big-time college football coach. To be around all of those guys, hopefully to help and to learn and continue to build that defense, it will be a great experience. They’ve got a lot of young guys who I believe are going to be really good players, and I’m looking forward to being part of it all.”
Fans may also recognize the last name from Hargreaves son, Vernon III, who played at Florida from 2013-15 and became a first-round NFL draft pick.