Odessa Londell Jenkins (born May 1, 1980, Watts, CA) is an American athlete, coach and executive. Jenkins is a two-time USA National Team representative (Women’s Football), and a two-time player of the year (Division I Basketball – Big West Conference). In 2013 and 2017 Jenkins was elected as a USA team captain, representing the team on the 4th of July in the semi-final of the IFAF World Games. In 2017 Jenkins was selected for the prestigious Bill Walsh NFL Coaching Internship (Atlanta Falcons - Running Backs)
Immediately after graduation, she started coaching and recruiting for Cal Poly Women’s Basketball she led the program to it’s first-ever conference tournament win.
Jenkins was a fan favorite at California State University San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), where she would go on to earn honors in both basketball and track. In 2008, Jenkins transitioned to women’s football, with a goal of driving the sport from amateurism to professional ranks. In her rookie season, she was voted as the professional women’s football rookie of the year, and won a national title.
On July 5, 2013, she was named as the #1 running back in the world (IFAF ALL World Team), after leading Team USA to its second straight world championship in women’s football. On June 30, 2017, Jenkins captured her 2nd straight World title, as the US defeated Canada 41-19 in the IFAF Women’s World Football Championship.
In 2014, Jenkins jumped back into coaching and into team ownership. As Head Coach and co-owner she lead the team to 2 conference titles in back-to-back season. In year 3 the team obtained a national title. In August 2017, Jenkins was selected as the first African American Female awardee (in coaching) of the heralded Bill Walsh Diversity Internship in the NFL. Jenkins served as Assistant Running backs Coach. Odessa continued to an impact by starting her new team, with a purpose of launching women's football to professionalism. The Texas Elite Spartans Women's Football team spinted to the top of women’s football in 2018 by winning the heralded Best of the West tournament.
In 2019, Jenkins her business partners set out to develop the first-ever professional women’s football league. Together they formed the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC). The WNFC broke many barriers in the first year of business. Most notably becoming the first women’s tackle football league sponsored by major global sports giants Adidas and Riddell. In their inaugural season; the league secured half a million dollars in apparel, discounts, cash, and benefits to their teams. Jenkins and the Texas Elite Spartans campatured the league's inaugural championship in a nail bitter victory over powerhouse Utah Falconz. The inaugural event was attended by celebrities and Adidas executives.
Jenkins is a sought after keynote speaker, who travels regularly mentoring and training leaders in sports and in boardrooms on how to build, maintain and develop diverse and inclusive working environments.
Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, CA; Odessa Jenkins is the youngest of four children. She was raised mostly by her mother (Lola Jenkins) in and around the housing projects of south-central Los Angeles. Jenkins learned the value of hard work very early on in life, watching her mother work multiple jobs. Although she was the youngest, she was always given a leadership role in the home.
The family continued to live in inner-city Los Angeles, until Jenkins was awarded a Division I scholarship to play basketball at California State University Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo. Odessa and her family eventually migrated to the central coast of California, where life began to change.
Following graduation, Jenkins tried a couple of professional jobs, before landing a management position with Medco Health Solutions; a cutting edge healthcare organization; which covers more than 6 million lives and repeatedly ranks in the Fortune 50. Today Jenkins is the Vice President of Client Support Service for YourCause (leading tech firm for Corporate Social Responsibility SAAS solution) and Co-Founder/CEO of the Women’s National Football Conference. She is among very few women of color in executive leadership (non-HR positions) in the tech and professional sports, and the first to own a major sports league solely owned by a woman of color.
In September 2019, Jenkins married her beloved fiancé Elizabeth Jenkins. The two reside in Allen, TX.
1998 – Los Angeles Times girl’s basketball (Southern Section) – Player of the Year
1998 - Division 1 Scholarship athlete – Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
2001 - NCAA National Leadership Conference selectee
2001 – Big West Athletic Conference – Women’s Basketball Player of the year (Hustle)
2002 – Big West Athletic Conference – Women’s Basketball Player of the year (Hustle)
2008 – 1st Team All Pro Running Back – IWFL (Rookie of the Year)
2008 – IWFL National Title
2009 – 1st Team All Pro Running Back – IWFL
2010 – WFA National Champion
2010 – 1st Team All Star, Player of the year, and Championship game MVP – WFA
2011 – 1st Team All American, All American Game MVP– WFA, Team MVP
2012 – 1st Team All American– WFA
2013 – USA National Team Selectee – Women’s Football
2013 – Running Back – All World Team – IFAF (International Federation of American Football)
2013 - IFAF World Champion
2015 – Owner of the Year
2015 – American Conference Champion
2016 – American Conference Champion
2017 USA National Team Selectee – Women’s Football
2017 - IFAF World Champion
2017 – WFA National Champion (WFA)
2017 – Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship (Atlanta Falcons)
2018 – Champion – Best of the West Championship
2018 - Inaugural Women's Football Hall of Fame Inducted
2019 - WNFC IX Cup Champion