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  • Tyrone Lewis gave up bright stages and big paychecks to go back to El Reno and live his American Dream

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    EL RENO – Tyrone Lewis made a decision as a freshman at El Reno. He let people know about it, too. “I’m going to be the head coach here,” he would say. It was a quite a proclamation for a kid who’d done anything to get kicked out of school only a few years earlier. Pick a fight. Talk back....

  • Cheers to selling beer at college football games

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    A couple weeks ago, Texas decided to open the tap to serving alcohol at football games. Among schools that play big-time college football, it becomes the 33rd to sell alcohol throughout its stadium. Even though that's only about a fourth of all Division I schools, the...

  • List of major college football programs selling alcohol in their stadiums continues to grow

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

      ON TAP Major-college football schools that are expected to sell alcohol throughout their stadiums during the 2015 season:  On-Campus Stadiums Akron Bowling Green Cincinnati Colorado State Houston Kent State Louisiana-Lafayette Louisiana-Monroe Louisville...

  • Hype and Hope: Baker Mayfield is the latest quarterback to make headlines before ever taking a Sooner snap

    BY JENNI CARLSON Columnist The Oklahoman | Published: Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    First came the lengthy public and often contentious transfer spat with Texas Tech. Then came the revelations that he has smooth dance moves and a Bedlam girlfriend. Most recently, there was the more serious Twitter discourse on racial violence in the aftermath of the church...

  • Thunder: Donovan's coaching staff is great for team and for him

    Jenni Carlson | Updated: Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    Let's start with an admission.  (They say confession is good for the soul, right?) Back in April when we found out that the Thunder had hired Billy Donovan as its new head coach, I termed it a risk. He has no head coaching experience in the NBA. He has not been around the pro game...

  • Top Five: Most ballyhooed quarterbacks in OU history

    BY JENNI CARLSON Columnist | Published: Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    With Oklahoma quarterback hopeful Baker Mayfield making all sorts of headlines this summer, it got us thinking about the Sooner signal callers who've been most ballyhooed before ever taking a snap in a game.  Oklahoman columnist Jenni Carlson takes a stab at the quarterbacks who...

  • People loved Bob Barry Jr. because he loved people

    By JENNI CARLSON | Published: Sun, Jun 21, 2015

    Bob Barry Jr. broke the cardinal rule of sports journalism. Don’t be a fan. Junior was the opposite. He was a cheerleader. He was a booster. He was a supporter. He was unabashed about his fandom, too — he loved people. He was a super fan for his fellow man. Saturday, Junior died when a...

  • Whether in the pool or in the classroom, Justin Wu always finds a way

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Sat, Jun 20, 2015

    Justin Wu made a shocking revelation earlier this year. His streak of straight As might end. You might not think of that as an earth-shattering situation, and considering that he was swimming at Norman North High, making college recruiting visits and fulfilling...

  • Scholar-Athlete: Bios of all the school winners

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Sat, Jun 20, 2015

    BETHANY: KYLE DUKE Athletics: First-team Little All-City and coaches’ all-state in football as a senior. Second-team all-conference in soccer. Also played varsity baseball. Academics: Weighted grade point average of 4.1. ACT score of 24. National Honor Society. Special Olympics volunteer....

  • OKC Thunder: How Amanda Green went from a Duke manager to one of the highest ranking women in an NBA front office

    By JENNI CARLSON | Published: Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    To understand how Amanda Green became one of the voices that will help determine who the Thunder drafts next week, you only need to hear her shot clock story.


Jenni Carlson


Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football games. Her mom kept the scorebook during baseball games and yelled her head off no matter the sport. They passed along that passion to Carlson and her two younger brothers.

Carlson played golf in high school and planned to play in college, but when she started at the University of Kansas, she decided to focus her attention on journalism. It’s a decision that she’s never regretted.

Her first big story was a profile on Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams for the yearbook, and Carlson has enjoyed interviewing sports figures and sharing their stories every since.
Carlson is a 1997 graduate of Kansas. She and her husband, Ryan, were married in 2009 and live in Oklahoma City. They welcomed their first child, Millie, in June 2012. Carlson was the president of the Association for Women in Sports Media from 2008-10 and chair of the board from 2010-12.

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