Sammy Joe Odom
Born(1941-11-13)November 13, 1941
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA
DiedJanuary 18, 2001(2001-01-18) (aged 59)
Mansfield, DeSoto Parish, Louisiana
OccupationPublic official
Insurance agent
Spouse(s)Cheryl Yarborough
ChildrenSamuel Joseph "Bo" Odom

Mrs. Joel Caral Odom Salley
Rachel Odom Delafield

Four grandchildren
(1) Odom was voted in 1962 among college football players as the "Most Valuable Lineman" in the Gulf State Conference.

(2) Odom excelled for his Northwestern State University Demons and played for a year, 1964, for the Houston Oilers.

(3) After years in the insurance business, Odom was the parish administrator for the DeSoto Parish Police Jury at the time of his sudden death.

Samuel Joseph Odom, known as Sammy Joe Odom (November 13, 1941–January 18, 2001), was an American football player for the Houston Oilers, the Northwestern State University Demons in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and the Minden High School Crimson Tide in Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana.

Odom was born in Shreveport to Troy S. Odom, Sr. (1912—1990), and Elvin C. Odom (1912—1995). In the fall of 1958, in his last season at Minden High School, Odom, an offensive tackle and defensive middle linebacker, was named "Most Valuable Player". He was also cited as an All-American center.

He continued his football excellence at Northwestern State, where he was designated permanent co-captain of the 1963 team. He was named (1) the best offensive lineman, (2) the co-winner of the "Most Valuable Player" trophy, and (3) the best lineman in the annual competition between Northwestern and its regional rival, the Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs, who meet annually in October at the Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport. Odom was also named to (4) the All-Gulf State Conference team and (5) the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American team. He was the (6) "Most Valuable Lineman", according to Gulf State Conference coaches in 1962.

Odom played only a year in the American Football League for the Oilers—1964.

After his sports career ended, Odom lived in Shreveport, where he founded the flag football program at the Agnew Town and Country School. In 1971, Odom relocated to Mansfield, the seat of DeSoto Parish south of Shreveport. There, he operated the Dunn-Odom Insurance Agency for fourteen years. At the time of his death, Odom was the administrator for the DeSoto Parish Police Jury, the governing agency of the parish. Odom's brother, Charles D. Odom (born 1951) of Minden, is a member of the Webster Parish Police Jury. Odom was also a member of the DeSoto Regional Hospital board for fifteen years.

Odom died of a sudden illness. In addition to his younger brother, he was survived by his wife, the former Cheryl Yarborough; a son, Samuel Joseph "Bo" Odom of Mansfield; two daughters, Joel Caral Odom Salley and husband, Thomas Addison Salley (born ca. 1961), of Shreveport, and Rachel Odom Delafield (born ca. 1974) and husband, Wil Delafield (born ca. 1973), of Mansfield; four grandchildren; sister-in-law, the former Pattie Lou Cook of Minden, wife of Charles Odom; a second brother, Troy S. Odom, Jr. (born 1948), and wife, the former Donna Suzanne Haygood (also born 1948), of Lewisville, Arkansas, and his mother-in-law, Carajo Yarborough of Mansfield. Services were held in the First United Methodist Church, of which Odom was chairman of the board of trustees. Burial was at Highland Cemetery in Mansfield.

On July 4, 2007, Odom was posthumously honored among the "Top 100 Players" in the NSU centennial celebration.


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