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#pounditThursday, July 18, 2024

UMBC coach Ryan Odom used to be Virginia ballboy

Ryan Odom

As if everything about UMBC’s upset win over Virginia weren’t already awesome enough, there is this extremely cool anecdote to add to the mix.

Ryan Odom, the head coach of UMBC, was once upon a time the ballboy for Virginia’s basketball team.

Odom’s father, Dave, was an assistant coach at Virginia from 1982-1989. So Ryan would come hang out with the program every day and absorb everything he could.

“Every day, when school got out. Ryan would go back to the house, he’d change into his basketball clothes and would get on his bike, cross over the viaduct on Alderman Road and drive right onto the court,” Dave Odom told the Roanoke Times this week.

“He’d park the bike behind the bench, walk over and sit down next to J.J. and they’d watch practice and dribble the ball between their legs. [Jones] talked more about basketball with him than I did.”

Jones is Jeff Jones, the former head coach at American, Virginia, and Old Dominion.

Ryan, now 43, later graduated from ballboy to towel boy. He clearly picked up a ton during his times around the coaches and team. This is his third full season as a head coach. Some bigger programs are probably going to come calling following this historic win.

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