Most Outstanding Athlete, Dave Odom returns to Guilford 43 years later

Dave Odom is no stranger to Guilford College. Recently hired as a part-time assistant to Guilford president Kent Chabotar, Odom attended Guilford in 1961, where he made his name on both the basketball court and the football field.

Shortly after graduating in ’65, having completed a stellar run on both teams and winning “Most Outstanding Athlete” two years in a row, Odom coached basketball at Goldsboro and Durham high schools.

Coaching high school basketball provided valuable team experience, which acted as a springboard for his collegiate coaching career that began in 1976 at Wake Forest University.

Over the next decade, Odom moved from school to school, and each team he coached improved. Colleges he worked besides Wake Forest included East Carolina University and the University of Virginia.

The Guilford grad returned to coach at Wake Forest from 1989-2000 where he took over a team with a four-year losing-record streak. Odom turned the team around and accumulated a 240-132 record, giving him the second most wins by any coach in Wake Forest’s history.

Odom led the Demon Deacons to seven straight NCAA appearances and a National Invitation Tournament championship.

Wake Forest awarded Odom a place in its Sports Hall of Fame just this year, making it the third school with his name on a plaque: Odom made it into both the Guilford College and Goldsboro High School halls of fame in 1983 and 1991, respectively.

“Dave is among the most accomplished Guilford graduates in the field of higher education and intercollegiate athletics,” Chabotar said.

At Guilford, Odom will use his considerable experience to assist with student recruitment, advise athletes, and create opportunities for sports management majors.

His ability to connect with athletes, colleagues, and students allows him to be twice as useful in the post of assistant to the president.

“You know a lot of people when you do what he did for 30, 35 years,” said Randy Doss, vice president for enrollment services. He has a lot of connections and we are interested in how those connections can help Guilford College.”

Odom himself is happy to revisit his alma mater.

“I am both honored and excited by the opportunity to return to Guilford as a consultant and assistant to President Chabotar,” Odom said in an interview with Greensboro Sports. “I am proud to be called a Guilfordian.”

His job encompasses a wide variety of tasks, a few of which Chabotar outlined.

“Guilford College needs to re-engage alumni, raise money for programs and facilities including a health/wellness center for the entire community, and provide ways for student-athletes (representing 25 percent of the traditional student body in intercollegiate sports alone) to be successful and graduate from Guilford College,” said Chabotar. “Dave Odom will be helpful in every respect.”

Odom and Doss assured Guilfordians that the assistant to the president looks forward to his new responsibilities.

“It takes two to tango, so he is interested and he wants to know how he can help Guilford,” said Doss. “He met his wife here. He loves this place.”

Odom and his wife Lynn live in Emerald Isle on the Outer Banks. They have two sons, Lane and Ryan. Like father, like sons, Lane coaches basketball at Charlotte Latin School, while Ryan acts as assistant basketball coach at Virginia Tech.

Dave Odom is no stranger to Guilford, but thanks to his new post, the students of Guilford will no longer be strangers to Dave Odom.