Jenni Carlson
Sports Columnist

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.

  • NCAA Volleyball Championships: Micha Hancock makes impact in semifinal match for Penn State

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    Penn State standout and Edmond Memorial alum Micha Hancock wasn’t the offensive star or the defensive stalwart in a 3-1 victory against Stanford. But as always, the attack-minded setter impacted every part of the national semifinal match. Saturday, she and her Penn State teammates will play for their second consecutive national title. How did you handle the emotions of playing such a big match back at home? “It was emotional for me to even see, like, our send-off. Our band, they came out. It was like, ‘What am I doing? I have a semifinal match.’ I was like, ‘No more of this crybaby crap. I’m going to zone in, and I’m going to play hard for my team.’” Your big serve started off great in the first set,

  • NCAA Volleyball Championships: BYU has OKC looking like Cinderella City again

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    BYU upended Texas at the NCAA Volleyball Championships and became the first unseeded team to ever make the national title match. And the Cougars left no doubt that they deserved a spot in Saturday’s final, walloping the Longhorns 3-1.

  • Micha Hancock looks completely at home for NCAA Volleyball Championships

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    The former Edmond Memorial star hopes to lead Penn State to a second consecutive national championship.

  • HS football: A little something to restore your faith in humanity

    Jenni Carlson | Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of writing about Team Roberts. It was the story of Crossings Christian linebacker Christian Osterhout and how he became part of coach Chris Roberts’ family after both of his parents died within a couple years of each other. Their story was so inspiring that the NFL named […]

  • For many Capitol Hill alumni, the nickname Redskins is a point of pride, not derision.

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    For the better part of nine decades, youngsters on the south side of the city couldn’t wait to go to Capitol Hill. The school was among the area’s best both athletically and academically, and everything about it was a source of pride. That includes the mascot and the nickname that the Oklahoma City Public school board voted to remove.

  • Why Oklahoma City Public Schools chose now to do away with the Redskins nickname

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Sun, Dec 14, 2014

    School board member Justin Ellis, who made the motion to scrap the mascot at last week’s meeting, explains that the issue was brought up early this year. That prompted board members to start researching the nickname’s history and talking to constituents about their feelings.

  • How other schools have handled changing their nicknames

    BY JACOB UNRUH AND JENNI CARLSON | Published: Sun, Dec 14, 2014

    NSU and Southeastern Oklahoma State both changed their nicknames in 2006 after the NCAA informed the schools they would not be allowed to host future playoff events if their “hostile and abusive” reference to American Indian culture was not changed. SEOSU went from “Savages” to “Savage Storm.”

  • OSU football: Tyreek Hill has no place in the OSU football program

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Updated: Fri, Dec 12, 2014

    COMMENTARY — In less than a week, Oklahoma State speedster Tyreek Hill has gone from a Bedlam hero to no longer being on the football and track teams. Hill was arrested Thursday and charged Friday with a felony count of domestic assault and battery by strangulation. He allegedly punched his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach and the face.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    staff reports | Updated: Fri, Dec 12, 2014

    The high school playoffs carry on. The Thunder winning streak does as well. Bowl season is near. What's next for Tyreek Hill? Send in your questions to Jenni Carlson on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m.

  • OSSAA has a huge mess on its hands

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    If Ed Sheakley and Mike Whaley were listening, they will return to OSSAA headquarters with an edict — no more making up things as they go.

  • It's time for the OSSAA to consider some changes to help officials

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    No system will alleviate all issues with officials, but there are some things they could do to improve things.

  • The #Healthy65 Holiday Challenge, Day 29/65, Week 5/10: Catching up with Jenni's Sugarfree Mondays

    Jenni Carlson | Published: Mon, Dec 8, 2014

    My sweet tooth isn’t as demanding as I thought. A few weeks ago, we launched a newsroom initiative to get healthy during the holidays. Sparked by news writer Juliana Keeping and called Healthy 65, we are attempting to do one healthy thing every day. Could be something small. Could be something big. One thing that […]

  • OSU football: What the Cowboys were saying after a 38-35 OT win over No. 18 Oklahoma

    COMPILED BY JENNI CARLSON, Staff Writer, | Published: Sat, Dec 6, 2014

    NORMAN — Oklahoma State improved to 6-6 and 4-5 in Big 12 Conference play after Saturday’s 38-35 overtime win over Bedlam rival Oklahoma. Here’s a look at what OSU players and coaches had to say after the game: Head coach Mike Gundy: “Obviously, that was a great win for our team. I was very proud of their competitiveness and willingness to come down and fight.” Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich on quarterback Mason Rudolph: “There was a couple mental errors that he had which are simple and very correctable. But other than that, I think there were times where he made quality throws.” Return man Tyreek Hill on the vibe of the team: “Adversity, we just tune it all out. At practice, we just practice

  • Oklahoma State football: How Mike Gundy danced his way right back into Cowboy hearts

    Jenni Carlson | Updated: Sat, Dec 6, 2014

    COMMENTARY — From the way he’d been acting and his team had been playing, it was natural to wonder if Mike Gundy had fallen out of love with his “New York Yankees job.” But Gundy used the occasion of Oklahoma State’s 38-35 overtime win over Oklahoma to renew his vows.

  • OSU football report card: Much-maligned offensive line gets high marks after Bedlam win

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Sat, Dec 6, 2014

    Lots to like from Oklahoma State in this Bedlam thriller — nothing more than the final score. The Cowboys won 38-35 in overtime, and folks who’ve been much maligned get big props this week. OFFENSIVE LINE: A The OSU offensive line was going without its best guy. Daniel Koenig was hurt and unavailable. But with one senior, two sophomores and two freshmen largely holding down the fort, the offensive line was stellar when it counted most. In overtime, those guys blew open holes for Desmond Roland, powering through a defensive line that had been a Sooner strength. The OSU offensive line has been dragged through the mud this season, but on Saturday afternoon, these guys deserve to get their names in the paper for lots of good

  • Bedlam Live: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma

    staff reports | Updated: Sat, Dec 6, 2014

    It's Bedlam time again. Can Oklahoma State score the upset and get bowl eligible? Can the Sooners extend their streak over the Cowboys? Follow our live coverage with The Oklahoman sports team from pregame to postgame.

  • Bedlam failure overshadows the good Mike Gundy has done for OSU football

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Dec 5, 2014

    Granted, that lone Bedlam victory was a big one. It gave the Cowboys their only Big 12 title, nearly propelled them to the national championship game and is as significant as any win in program history. Still, only beating the Sooners once — and pundits, oddsmakers and fans alike believe Gundy won’t add to that total Saturday — that isn’t good enough.

  • Power Lunch: Chat live with columnist Jenni Carlson

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Fri, Dec 5, 2014

    Come talk Bedlam football, Thunder basketball, Douglass/Locus Grove and more with columnist Jenni Carlson. She'll be taking your questions live starting at 11 a.m.

  • Bedlam football: The Fan's Guide to the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game Saturday

    From Staff Reports | Published: Thu, Dec 4, 2014

    OSU AT OU — Everything a fan needs to know about the 2:30 p.m. Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game Saturday in Norman.

  • Bedlam football: If OU-OSU has lost a little zest for you, meet an Oklahoman who came a long way to see his first Bedlam

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Thu, Dec 4, 2014

    COMMENTARY — Eugene West and his family return to Oklahoma every three or four years from China. He’ll attend his first Bedlam game on Saturday, thanks in part to the diminished enthusiasm and ticket demand this year for the OU-OSU game.

Jenni Carlson Today at 1:39 PM @Tyweeden4 Got your DM. Completely understand. Just pass along my best wishes to everyone.
Jenni Carlson Today at 1:30 PM @Tyweeden4 Hey, any chance I could email you or DM you? You can either follow me or email me at Thanks so much.
Jenni Carlson Today at 11:25 AM Lots of inspiring stories of kids fighting disease today ... but I'm sitting here at my desk a blubbery mess.
Jenni Carlson Today at 12:26 AM @Tyweeden4 Thinking about you all. If it's the little guy in D Town, my heart aches particularly deeply.
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 10:50:41 PM CST And Penn State wins the fourth set to advance to Saturday's final. It'll be BYU-Penn State, sports fans.
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 10:47:38 PM CST Why does everyone keep saying Warriors-Thunder in the first round? Why not second? I think OKC gets to No. 5 or 4.
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 10:41:21 PM CST Twitter is funny tonight. Lots of jokesters out there. Keep it up. Lovin' it!
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 10:29:57 PM CST @MartzMimic I was kinda wondering myself who was gonna be No 8 in that scenario ...
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 10:24:27 PM CST @DarnellMayberry Just upset I can't cover volleyball and see the Thunder. I'm being selfish. Don't want to miss 60.
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 10:23:16 PM CST Penn State takes the third set, now leads 2-1 over Stanford. Local star Micha Hancock havin' herself a night. Impact all over the floor.
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 10:22:23 PM CST @DarnellMayberry Seems like a lot.
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 10:00:04 PM CST In other news, sounds like Kevin Durant is doing Kevin Durant things.
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 09:58:52 PM CST Sorry I'm off my tweet game. Had to get a column in for first. Penn State-Stanford a good one. Tied 1-1 in the third set.
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 08:05:51 PM CST BYU went to the big girl twice, and the second time, she got through the Texas block. BYU wins the first national semi. Wow. That was fun.
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 08:04:00 PM CST BYU's got a match point here after Texas gets a finger tip on a kill headed OB. Texas bench not happy about the call.
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 07:33:50 PM CST Texas rallies to win the third set, 25-17. Can the Horns tie this baby up?
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 07:33:26 PM CST @MarkC63 @NewsOK I think we have at least two people there: @pmonies and @awilmoth.
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 06:58:16 PM CST BYU takes the second set 25-16, now leads two sets to nada. Cougars eyeing a big ol' upset right here.
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 06:57:45 PM CST I believe this is BYU's way of saying, "So, Texas, you don't think we're good enough for the Big 12? In your burnt orange eye!"
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 18 2014 06:50:18 PM CST The Longhorn Network's gonna have to figure out something else to put on this weekend if this keeps up. Old Mack Brown presser maybe?