HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-Hampden-Sydney basketball alumnus Ryan Odom '96 will be making his NCAA Division I National Tournament head coaching debut tonight with University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). The Retrievers advanced to the field of 68 courtesy the American East Conference's automatic bid with a 65-62 win over Vermont in the conference championship game.
No stranger to the postseason, Odom was the head coach at Lenoir-Rhyne in 2016 when the Bears advanced to the NCAA Division II Regional Finals; an assistant coach at UNC Charlotte when the 49ers appeared in the 2013 NIT; an assistant coach at Virginia Tech in 2007 when the Hokies got a first round win over Illinois in the NCAA Division I Tournament; and a player for the Tigers in two NCAA Division III Tournaments.
In addition to his two NCAA Tournament appearances with the Tigers (1994, 1995), Odom helped the Tigers to a 1995 ODAC Championship, and the 1996 team captain graduated with the program record for three pointers in a game (7), season (82), and career (234) while also standing fourth on the career assists list with 336. He also earned Second Team All-ODAC honors as a senior.
Odom is not the only Tiger appearing in the Tournament this evening as Griff Aldrich '96 is also on the UMBC coaching staff.
Odom and the Retrievers (24-10, 12-4 American East) tipoff at 9:20 PM tonight against top-seeded Virginia (31-2, 17-1 ACC) on TNT.