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SPORTS: OBU taps coach for return to gridiron

SHAWNEE, Okla. (BP) — Oklahoma Baptist University has named Chris Jensen its first head football coach since 1940 as the university prepares to restart its football program in the fall of 2013.

Jensen comes to OBU from Southmoore High School in Moore, Okla., where he started the football program in 2008. In his and the program’s second year, the SaberCats were 11-2 and reached the Class 6A semifinals. Jensen was named Oklahoma 6A-1 Coach of the Year in 2009.

At the University of Oklahoma, he was a varsity letterman, playing on the offensive line.

“Chris Jensen embodies our highest ideals for OBU football,” OBU President David Whitlock said. “We desire to compete and win. Chris has that competitive fire and he is a proven winner. We desire to operate a program where young men are challenged to grow physically, spiritually and socially. Coach Jensen has demonstrated the ability to nurture growth in each of those areas.

“He possesses a combination of football knowledge, personal discipline, spiritual commitment and determination to succeed,” Whitlock continued. “We are thrilled to have him as the coach who will guide OBU football as we launch a new era of success in collegiate athletics.”

Jensen said he drew inspiration to apply for the position by reading the mission statement of the university.

“I find it necessary to be that kind of role model for young men and feel it essential to develop them as men of God,” Jensen said. “We’re going to equip students to pursue academic excellence, integrate faith in all areas of knowledge and engage a diverse world. That is the mission of the university. That’s the mission of my football team.”

Jensen’s coaching stops also include assistant posts at Westmoore (defensive coordinator), Bartlesville (offensive coordinator), Durant (offensive coordinator and assistant head coach), Moore (offensive line) and Little Axe (offensive line and outside linebackers).

Jensen received his bachelor of science degree in education in December 1992 from Oklahoma. He earned his master’s degree in education administration from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 2006.

He and his wife Patti have three children and are members of Emmaus Baptist Church, where Jensen serves as a deacon.

“Our number one task in the hiring process was to see that we hired someone who fit the mission of OBU and was a good football coach,” OBU athletic director Robert Davenport said. “I believe that we did both extremely well in the hiring of Chris Jensen. Chris has proven through his life and experience that he will be the type of coach that will provide the leadership to direct our football program for years to come.”

Jensen has begun hiring assistant coaches and hitting the recruiting trail. OBU will recruit a leadership class for 2012-13 and begin its first football season in the fall of 2013.
Compiled by BPSports editor Tim Ellsworth.

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