New Oklahoma Baptist football coach Chris Jensen said he has no idea where life would have taken him had he not walked on at Oklahoma more than 20 years ago.
Jensen did not play football for two years after graduating from Lawton High School. The offensive lineman had a partial scholarship offer from Southwestern State. He even had a nomination to the Naval Academy.
Jensen said he went through a “lazy period” in life.
“I was even afraid to throw the shot or disc because they might have made me run a lap to warm up,” Jensen said. “I did not have a plan for myself.”
Then the football bug returned and bit Jensen so hard that he showed up at OU as a walk-on. He played for the Sooners' scout team in 1990, earned a scholarship and started as a 6-foot-4, 290-pound senior guard in 1991 under coach Gary Gibbs. Jensen credited Lawton coaches Clarence Madden and Randy Breeze for developing his skills in high school and then-OU assistant Merv Johnson for fine tuning after the layoff.
And then there are the people in the Moore, Durant, Bartlesville and Little Axe school districts who gave Jensen a chance to learn the ups, downs and curves of coaching. All had a part in where Jensen is today.
“I'm very grateful to all of those people,” Jensen said.
*Should be a rule that college baseball season can't start before the Super Bowl. Northwestern State opens its season next Friday at Huston-Tillotson in Austin, Texas. The Rangers' home opener is Feb. 4 against McPherson (Kan.).
BY THE NUMBERS
*100 — Victories for the Langston women's basketball team under coach Jerome Willis. The Lions, ranked No. 5 in the NAIA with a 17-0 record this season, reached the milestone Monday with their 87-63 rout of Huston-Tillotson (Texas). In four seasons under Willis, the Langston program has a 100-20 record.
*34 — Career-high points for Southern Nazarene women's basketball player Logan Martin, who helped the No. 16-ranked Crimson Storm whip Oklahoma Baptist 84-69 on Saturday. Martin buried seven 3-pointers, also a career best.
*2 — Consecutive losses for the No. 2-ranked Oklahoma Baptist men's basketball team. The Bison were hammered 83-66 Thursday night at unranked Northwestern State. OBU was No. 1 in the NAIA when it lost an overtime decision on Jan. 14 at 12th-ranked Southern Nazarene. Voters only dropped OBU one spot — but the loss Thursday in Alva will likely deem harsher punishment in the polls.