Missouri coach Barry Odom has taken another big step in assembling his first staff.
The Tigers hired TCU’s DeMontie Cross as the team’s defensive coordinator on Friday.
Cross is a St. Louis native who played safety for Missouri from 1994-96 — his final year overlapped with Odom’s freshman season as a Tigers linebacker — and later spent two seasons as an assistant (1998-99). As TCU’s co-defensive coordinator in 2015, he oversaw the Big 12’s third-best scoring defense. The Horned Frogs also allowed the second-fewest passing yards per game in the conference under his watch.
“DeMontie is an outstanding addition to our staff,” said Odom through a release. “He’s really established himself as one of the top defensive minds in college football, and he’s had success at every stop he’s been at over the years. I’ve witnessed him on the road recruiting, he’s relentless and has done a great job of establishing meaningful relationships in a number of geographic areas. I know he’ll be a great mentor and leader who will relate well with our guys.
“I expect DeMontie to bring some great ideas and concepts defensively to us that will build on what we’ve been able to do this past year. Obviously he has great enthusiasm, excitement and passion for Mizzou, and we’re proud to have him back here.”
Odom and Cross were teammates for one year at Mizzou, when Cross was a senior free safety and Odom a true freshman linebacker in 1996.
“I’m so excited to have this opportunity to work with Coach Odom and contribute to a place that has given me so much,” said Cross. “Mizzou is in my blood, it’s the place that made me the man and the coach that I am today. It’s also a dream come true for me to work alongside a guy I’ve known for so long. Coach Odom and I have had a strong bond on and off the field, and I’m excited to come in and support him and his vision in every aspect imaginable. I’m honored he’s put his trust in me this way.
“Mizzou has already established a good reputation on defense, so all I’m looking to do is come in and put my own twist to it and try to make it even better. My players will know that a sense of urgency, attention to detail, and playing with enthusiasm and energy are the things that are most important to me. I think people enjoy watching a defense that plays that way.”