Sammy Joe Odom

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Samuel Joseph
"Sammy Joe" Odom, Sr.

(American football player)

Sammy Odom of LA.jpg

Born November 13, 1941​
Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
Died January 18, 2001 (aged 50)
Mansfield, DeSoto Parish, Louisiana ​

Resting place:
Highland Cemetery in Mansfield​

Spouse Cheryl Yarborough Odom

Samuel Joseph "Bo" Odom, Jr.
​ Mrs. Joel Caral Odom Salley
​ Rachel Cheryl Odom Delafield
Troy Shakelford, Sr., and Elvin Coyle Odom
Alma mater:
Minden High Scbool
Northwestern State University

  • Odom was voted in 1962 among college football players as the "Most Valuable Lineman" in the Gulf State Conference.
  • Odom excelled for his Northwestern State University Demons and played for a year, 1964, for the former Houston Oilers.
  • After years in the insurance business, Odom was the parish administrator for the DeSoto Parish Police Jury at the time of his sudden death.​
Religion United Methodist

Samuel Joseph Odom, Sr., known as Sammy Joe Odom (November 13, 1941 – January 18, 2001), was an American football player for the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans in Memphis, Tennessee), the Northwestern State University Demons in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and the Minden High School Crimson Tide in Minden in Webster Parish. ​[1]


​ Odom was born in Shreveport to Troy Shakelford, Sr. (1912-1990), and the former Elvin Coyle (1912-1995), who are interred at Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Minden.[2] 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. Odom was honored by the Minden Jaycees as the "most outstanding athlete" in his city. This particular award was presented by Charles A. Marvin, later a district attorney and judge of the Louisiana Circuit Court of Appeal for the Second District.[3]

Odom played football 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. 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 1964 - in the American Football League for the Oilers; one of his teammates was another player from Minden, Charles Taylor "Charlie" Hennigan (1935-2017).[4]

​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,he relocated to Mansfield in 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, akin to the county judge in other states. He was a member too for fifteen years of the DeSoto Regional Hospital Board. Odom's brother, Charles D. Odom (born 1951) of Minden, served on the Webster Parish Police Jury; Odom's nephew, "Chad" Odom (born 1975), ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Minden in 2014 but was defeated by Tommy Davis.

Odom died of a sudden illness two months after his fiftieth birthday. In addition to his younger brother, Charles Odom, he was survived by his wife, the former Cheryl Yarborough; a son, Samuel Joseph "Bo" Odom, Jr. of Mansfield; two daughters, Joel Caral Odom Salley and husband, Thomas Addison Salley, of Shreveport, and Rachel Odom Delafield and husband, Wil Delafield, 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), formerly of Lewisville, Arkansas, but retired in Webster Parish, 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. Interment was at Highland Cemetery in Mansfield.​[1]

On July 4, 2007, Odom was posthumously honored among the "Top 100 Players" in the history of Northwestern State University.​


  1. 1.0 1.1 Odom obituary, Minden Press-Herald, January 22, 2001​.
  2. Troy Shakelford Odom, Sr.. Retrieved on July 5 2020.
  3. "Sammy Joe Odom Named a Recipient of 1958 Most Outstanding Award," The Minden Herald, December 18, 1958, p. 10.
  4. Houston Oilers 1964 Roster. Retrieved on July 5, 2020.