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.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with Jenni Carlson from H&H Shooting Sports

    staff reports | Updated: Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    It's Wednesday on the Power Lunch chat! Get your men's and women's NCAA Tournament, Thunder, and spring football questions in to Jenni Carlson on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m., live from H&H Shooting Sports,

  • Recruiting just got a whole lot tougher for Oklahoma

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Mar 9, 2015

    We’re not just talking about recruiting the next five-star running back or the next Big 12 Player of the Year. We’re talking about recruiting the next National Merit Scholar or the next University of Oklahoma Student Association president.

  • OU athletics: Impossible to fault Eric Striker's outrage

    Jenni Carlson | Published: Mon, Mar 9, 2015

    Eric Striker has always been forthcoming with his feelings and emotions — so the Oklahoma linebacker’s emotional, profanity-laced video responding to the video that surfaced Sunday of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members singing a racist song is understandable. And just as I always am, I am thankful for Striker’s honesty. Sure, the profanity is an assault […]

  • Reat and Popeye: How OU honored a family after tragedy

    Jenni Carlson | Updated: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    Mindy Corporon always hoped her son would end up at Oklahoma, and maybe if she was lucky, she might get to see him sing the national anthem before a game at her alma mater, too. Saturday, both dreams came true — but it was nothing like she had envisioned.

  • OU and Iowa State provided some must-see TV basketball

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Feb 9, 2015

    Frankly, if these two teams want to sign on for about 10 more games this season, college basketball would be the better for it. The Sooners and the Cyclones have made a habit of playing grand ball games, and this one was as fun as any contest in college basketball this season.

  • Live Coverage: OU vs. Iowa State

    staff reports | Updated: Mon, Feb 9, 2015

    Can the Sooners make it five wins in a row in Big 12 play? Follow our live coverage with Ryan Aber and more from around the web as OU takes on Iowa State at the Lloyd Noble Center.

  • No one means more to Josh Wariboko-Alali than the man always by his side

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Feb 4, 2015

    On the day he made his college intentions known, pulling a baby blue hat from out of his backpack and picking UCLA over Oklahoma and Ohio State — who the offensive lineman would pick was the biggest National Signing Day suspense in our state — no one was more important to Wariboko-Alali than the man by his side. That’s where his father was Wednesday. That’s where Benson Wariboko-Alali has always been.

  • Recruiting: Casady's Josh Wariboko turns down Sooners, commits to UCLA

    BY JENNI CARLSON, Staff Writer, | Updated: Wed, Feb 4, 2015

    Offensive line standout Josh Wariboko-Alali signed with UCLA on Wednesday morning. He chose the Bruins over Oklahoma and Ohio State. Wariboko-Alali is the top player on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 and is considered one of the best recruits in the nation at his position. His decision Wednesday ended several years of intense recruitment of the Casady standout. Wariboko-Alali committed to OU in June 2013 and stayed with that pledge for nearly a year. Then in April, he decommitted and re-opened his recruiting. That created a frenzy for the 6-foot-3, 310-pound lineman, who amassed more than 30 scholarship offers. Late in the season, he let it be known that he would announce his verbal commitment at the Under Armour

  • Josh Wariboko-Alali is more than just a name on a letter of intent

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Feb 2, 2015

    For the 6-foot-3, 310-pound lineman, signing that national letter of intent will be a big deal all on its own. The reason can be found in the very name that he will sign.

  • Lincoln Riley does not have all the answers — but that's OK

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Jan 19, 2015

    Before anyone in the Sooner Nation starts calling for another offensive coordinator’s head, take a deep breath and consider this uncertainty a good thing. It shows that Riley is flexible. Adaptive. Responsive.

  • Oklahoma football: Why Bob Stoops hired Lincoln Riley to bring back the Air Raid offense

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Sat, Jan 17, 2015

    It is obvious that Lincoln Riley now has one of the most prestigious coordinator jobs at one of college football’s most prestigious programs for lots of reasons. But as much as he was hired for who he is, he was also hired for what he runs.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    staff reports | Updated: Fri, Jan 16, 2015

    How would a Brook Lopez trade change the Thunder? What kind of work is Travis Ford doing in Stillwater? Is Lincoln Riley the Sooners' answer at offensive coordinator? Ask columnist Jenni Carlson on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m.

  • A college football power in Dallas-Fort Worth? Fear the Frogs

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Jan 7, 2015

    This bowl season has been many things in the Big 12, but as much as anything, it’s been a wake-up call. TCU is for real.

  • OU football: Dorial Green-Beckham entering the NFL Draft

    By Jason Kersey, Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson | Published: Tue, Jan 6, 2015

    OU NOTEBOOK — Bob Stoops expresses no disappointment at the five-star receiver’s departure from Norman without ever playing a down, saying “I went in with eyes wide open.”

  • Oklahoma football: Why Tuesday was the biggest day of change since Stoops arrived in Norman

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Tue, Jan 6, 2015

    COMMENTARY — Bob Stoops talked differently, but firing his national championship quarterback and another coach he’s known for 30 years are proof that the changes afoot in the Oklahoma football program go beyond talk.

  • OU replay: Watch Bob Stoops' Press Conference

    staff reports | Updated: Tue, Jan 6, 2015

    Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops talked about the dismissals of Jay Norvell and Josh Heupel, the departure of Dorial Green-Beckham, the promotion of Jerry Montgomery and more at his press conference Tuesday. You can watch the replay here.

  • 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.

  • 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

Jenni Carlson Today at 8:28 PM RT @anthonyVslater: Markieff Morris with more points (16) than the Thunder (14) right now.
Jenni Carlson Today at 8:28 PM @paulcoro So, he has as many technicals as field goals? Not a good sign for El Thunder.
Jenni Carlson Today at 8:25 PM So, Baylor PG Niya Johnson has 21 assists and 0 turnovers in three halves of basketball this weekend. #salty
Jenni Carlson Today at 1:50 PM RT @QuitNguyen: Still have these bad boys if anyone knows who they belong to. @PaseoOKC LINK
Jenni Carlson Sat, Mar. 28 2015 09:08:19 PM CST @don_lytle Absolutely sure.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Mar. 28 2015 09:08:05 PM CST @MotherHays Ha!
Jenni Carlson Sat, Mar. 28 2015 02:44:35 PM CST Just saw someone using a flip phone ... in real life! I'm not a big tech person, but man, it's weird to see a flip phone in use.
Jenni Carlson Fri, Mar. 27 2015 07:33:14 PM CST RT @okcAllSports: First half stats #OKCRegional of @BaylorWBB and @IowaWBB. Baylor leading 42-34 #ncaawb LINK
Jenni Carlson Fri, Mar. 27 2015 01:46:45 PM CST @Tiffanyg89 As she sang, "Lord knows I'm sinnin' ... "
Jenni Carlson Fri, Mar. 27 2015 01:44:03 PM CST @Tiffanyg89 "Interesting" makes me think I didn't sway you to thinking you should like Kim ... ;)
Jenni Carlson Fri, Mar. 27 2015 12:11:52 PM CST Our photog Steve Gooch taking a shot of artist Ray Tennyson. You won't believe what Ray is up to next. Stay tuned. LINK
Jenni Carlson Fri, Mar. 27 2015 10:17:31 AM CST @MartzMimic Thanks, Chris!
Jenni Carlson Thu, Mar. 26 2015 07:00:37 PM CST RT @JeffEisenberg: Whichever team advances to the Final Four from the West Region will match the Lakers' win total at Staples Center for Ma…
Jenni Carlson Thu, Mar. 26 2015 06:56:48 PM CST @amymoritz Nope! In fact I will leg wrestle to be her biggest media fan ... ;)
Jenni Carlson Thu, Mar. 26 2015 06:52:20 PM CST So, I might have written a few words today about Kim Mulkey. And by a few, I mean a ton. LINK
Jenni Carlson Thu, Mar. 26 2015 06:42:09 PM CST @BDavisAAS Marv is looking to bolt? ;)
Jenni Carlson Thu, Mar. 26 2015 06:41:41 PM CST RT @StanfordWBB: Moving trip... RT @tomgfitzgerald: @Stanfordwbb players 'teary-eyed' on visit to Oklahoma City memorial LINK
Jenni Carlson Thu, Mar. 26 2015 09:57:20 AM CST @cityofokc No problem. Thanks for all you do!
Jenni Carlson Thu, Mar. 26 2015 07:18:03 AM CST @cityofokc A couple of trees are down and partially in the street on NW 19th between May and Drexel. Assuming storm related.
Jenni Carlson Wed, Mar. 25 2015 10:18:11 PM CST Good news about the Thunder being blown out -- I will feel no guilt going to bed early.