ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Mark Odom began his freshman year at McMurry College in 1977. He also served as equipment manager and cameraman for the football team through a work study program. Odom says they used a small 8mm camera until 1978, when they received an upgrade.

“It’s a 16mm movie camera we, I guess you would say, ‘inherited it,'” Odom says.

KRBC had recently switched from film to video cameras in the field and in studio. One of the nearly 15 pound field cameras that they no longer needed was donated to the McMurry athletics department.

“They gave it to me and said, ‘Here, figure this out.’ I said, ‘Hey, you gotta help me a little bit with this,'” Odom says.

Luckily for him there was a news man he knew that knew the camera inside and out.

“Jerry Shackelford, who was a reporter and an executive there, he said, ‘Oh yeah, I can show you how to use that,” says Odom.

Now armed with knowledge, Odom filmed every McMurry football game for the next 14 years. Although it was not cutting edge, Odom says the camera was quite the convenience for the time.

“It’s got 400 feet of film in it and that would last me until just about halftime,” Odom says.

While today’s cameras can shoot for days at a time on a single card, or even stream directly to the cloud, two reels per game was a heck of an upgrade over their old 8mm camera, according to Odom.

“Because it was 100 foot. So I changed eight times during the game,” Odom says.

He would hang up the camera in 1992 when the university’s vice president asked him to direct their newly in-house security department, a position he held until his retirement in 2022.

Odom had the camera at his house and decided retirement was a good opportunity to return it to its original home.

“At the station it might have a place, it might mean something to somebody to have it back there,” Odom says.

Knowing that he too feels much happier being home.

“I’ve only been gone for 18 days now, but yes, I will always be a McMurry fan,” says Odom.