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Football returning to Oklahoma Baptist for first time since 1940

The OBU program was cut long ago because of financial hardship, but this fall football returns to the school with former Southmoore coach Chris Jensen at the helm.
BY RHIANNON WALKER Staff Writer rwalker@opubco.com Published: July 20, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma Baptist University President  David Whitlock and Athletic Director Robert Davenport introduced Chris Jensen, shown here,  as the school's first  head football coach since 1940 to a group of about 60 people in the Mabee Suite of the Noble Complex on the university campus on Wednesday morning, Jan. 18, 2012.  Jensen comes to OBU from the head coaching position at Southmoore High School. Jensen and his wife, Patti, have three children.   Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma Baptist University President David Whitlock and Athletic Director Robert Davenport introduced Chris Jensen, shown here, as the school's first head football coach since 1940 to a group of about 60 people in the Mabee Suite of the Noble Complex on the university campus on Wednesday morning, Jan. 18, 2012. Jensen comes to OBU from the head coaching position at Southmoore High School. Jensen and his wife, Patti, have three children. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

It was concluded that adding football, men's and women's swimming and women's lacrosse would add more than 170 student-athletes to the campus and generate more than $750,000 in net revenue.

“There's a fairly large demand and interest across the alumni base and the student body to have football on a campus,” Jensen said. “Some of the benefits of bringing football will be increased enrollment, excitement and national exposure.”

OBU football was 8-2-1 in its final season in 1940, winning an All Oklahoma Collegiate Conference championship. The program was 109-71 with two conference championships in 21 seasons of football.

One of the highlights from the previous era of football was a 6-0 victory over the University of Arkansas in 1925. Robert Mastin, grandfather of current Bison track coach Ford Mastin, had a school-record three interceptions to help OBU maintain the shutout.

Oklahoma Baptist, which will be a member of the Central States football league, will host its first football media day at 10 a.m. Aug. 10, at Bison Field at Eddie Hurt Athletic Center.

On Aug. 31, the Bison will host Southwestern College (Kan.) at “The Hurt,” OBU's new 2,900-seat, on-campus stadium.

OBU is asking for people connected with the previous era of Bison football — former players, managers, cheerleaders, and direct relatives — to contact assistant athletic director Brian Morris at 585-5411 or at brian.morris@okbu.edu so the school can recognize them in an Opening Day ceremony.