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He was born in Amherst, on Feb. 23, 1933, the son of James Samuel McCord and Johnnie Ray Wood McCord.
The family received friends at a visitation which took place on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at Commerce Funeral Home. The funeral service will be today, at 1 p.m., at the Church of Christ in Commerce, with Joel Shelton officiating. Interment will be at Rosemound Cemetery.
Sam attended high school in Wilmer Hutchins, and graduated in 1951. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in Fort Hood during the Korean War. He then attended Paris Junior College, where he earned a scholarship to play quarterback on the football team for head coach, Earnest Hawkins. Sam McCord (along with coach Earnest Hawkins) transferred to East Texas State University on scholarship to play for Head Coach J.V. Sikes.
From 1957-1959, "Stumblin' Sam" McCord led the ETSU Lions to a record of 28-3-0, culminating in a win at the "Tangerine Bowl" in Florida, earning Most Valuable Player honors and was named as Associated Press first team All American. After college, Sam was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings and traded to the Oakland Raiders.
In the 1960s, Samuel McCord coached at Jacksonville and Clarksville, Texas, before returning to ETSU to coach alongside head coach, Earnest Hawkins. Committed to his University, Sam continued his career at ETSU accepting the position of Chief of Traffic Safety and Security, where he continued to receive accolades as a leader. Ultimately, Samuel Ray McCord finished his professional career as the Alumni Director for the university. Samuel retired from his formal work at East Texas State in 1992, but remained a loyal supporter for the remainder of his life.
Sam is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Barba Lane; his sisters, Barbara Ann and Maxine; his four children, Lynn McCord (Debby), Carla Hancock (Jackson), Michael McCord (Rena) and Mindy Gallegos (Miguel); eight grandchildren, Mallory Batio (Jon), Cody Hancock, Casey Hancock (Meghan), Cade Hancock, Darien McCord, Tara McCord, Brooke McCord and Elizabeth McCord; and five great-grandchildren, Carys, Mackenzie, Mason, Isabella and Jasmine.
Sam was preceded in death by his parents, James and Johnnie Ray McCord and his brother, Weldon McCord.
Serving as pallbearers for Sam are Michael McCord, Jon Batio, Miguel Gallegos, Eddie Vowell, Paul Zelhart and Jackson Hancock.
In lieu of flowers, the McCord family requests that donations be made to the charity of your choice, or to the Sam and Barba McCord Endowment Fund. If giving to the Endowment Fund by mail, make checks payable to TAMUC Foundation and note "McCord" in the memo field. Mail to TAMUC Foundation, PO Box 3425, Commerce, TX 75429-3425. Online giving is also available at www.tamuc.edu/give. The Sam and Barba McCord Endowment is listed as one of the current initiatives.
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