SEC Football:

Missouri fires defensive coordinator after poor start

By: Alec Lewis, The Associated Press
Published: Monday, September 11, 2017
Missouri defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross shouts instructions to his team during an NCAA college spring football game Saturday, April 16, 2016, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
Missouri defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross shouts instructions to his team during an NCAA college spring football game Saturday, April 16, 2016, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

— DeMontie Cross was fired as Missouri's defensive coordinator after a year and two games in the position.

The school announced the move Sunday, a day after the Tigers (1-1) lost 31-13 to South Carolina and a week after they gave up 43 points to Football Championship Subdivision opponent Missouri State.

Cross' firing is effective immediately, and no immediate replacement was named in the school's announcement. It comes ahead of the Tigers matchup with Purdue on Saturday.

A former Missouri safety from 1994-96, Cross was stripped of his play-calling duties seven games into the 2016-17 season. Even after Odom took over play-calling, the Tigers finished the season ranked worst in the Southeastern Conference in yards allowed per game.

"I am very appreciative of all that DeMontie has done for Mizzou, and am sorry that this did not work out," Missouri coach Barry Odom said. "However, after careful evaluation, I believe it is important to make this change now."

Through two games in this season, Odom has continued to call plays with co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Ryan Walters, outside linebackers coach Brian Odom and defensive line coach Brick Haley looking on.

Cross continued to coach inside linebackers and focus on recruiting efforts after Odom took over play-calling.

He was hired to a three-year contract at Missouri worth $600,000 per year after a three-year stint at TCU, where he coached linebackers and was a co-defensive coordinator.

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