Odom named Maui Invitational chair
LAHAINA, Hawaii -- Former coach Dave Odom is the new chairman of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
Odom, who coached at Wake Forest and South Carolina, was chosen Tuesday to replace Big East commissioner Dave Gavitt in running the eight-team invitational celebrating its 26th anniversary next month.
Odom took the Demon Deacons -- and player of the year Tim Duncan -- to the round of eight in the 1996 NCAA tournament and his teams made the tourney a total of 10 times.
Gavitt remains with the invitational as co-chairman emeritus with former chairman Wayne Duke, who served as commissioner of the Big Eight and Big Ten.
This year's tournament will be Nov. 23-25 at the Lahaina Civic Center.
The field will be Arizona, Cincinnati, Maryland, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Colorado, Vanderbilt and Chaminade, the Division II host school from Honolulu.
Odom, a longtime board member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches who currently serves on the NCAA Ethics Committee, left South Carolina after the 2007-08 season, capping a 30-year coaching career. He won three NIT championships, two ACC tournament titles and one ACC regular-season championship.
"It is great to be back participating in another aspect of college sports, especially something as important as the Maui Invitational," Odom said from his home in South Carolina. "Being a coach who used to wait for the phone call from Dave or Wayne to see if we were invited to Maui, I know how important this tournament is not only to the coaches and players of the schools involved but to the state of Hawaii, the island of Maui and Chaminade University."
Odom was an assistant to Terry Holland at Virginia in 1982 when the top-ranked Cavaliers and Ralph Sampson were upset by then-NAIA member Chaminade in what is considered one of the biggest upsets in sports history and the catalyst for the current Maui Invitational.
He knows his new position could have a lot of coaching friends looking to cash in old favors.
"I hope I get a lot of phone calls from some of my close friends but I also look forward talking to those young coaches who I haven't have a chance to meet yet," Odom said.
He knows he is following two of the most influential men in college sports.
"Being chosen as the successor to Wayne Duke and Dave Gavitt is humbling to say the least," Odom said. "You would be hard-pressed to find two men more revered in the world of college sports than Mr. Duke and Coach Gavitt. I have spoken to each on several occasions and have asked that they remain available to me and the tournament as an important resource."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press