Howard Odell graduated from Pittsburgh in 1934 after playing at running back and punter on the 1932-33 Panther squads. He remained at Pittsburgh for two seasons as backfield coach. In 1936 he moved to Harvard for two seasons and then to Pennsylvania from 1938-40. In 1941 he served as the backfield coach at Wisconsin under Harry Stuhldreher, one of Notre Dame's Four Horsemen. He got his first head coaching job at Yale in 1942 and stayed through 1947 compiling a record of 35-15-2 which included Yale's 500th victory in 1945. He was hired at Washington in 1948 and stayed until 1952. Odell's overall record at the UW was 23-25-12. He coached two of Washington's greatest players in Hugh McElhenny and Don Heinrich. He opened a used car lot after he left the coaching ranks. In 1957 he was elected King County Commissioner and served until 1962 when he retired and moved to Southern California.