Southmoore High School football coach Chris Jensen is leaving the Sabercats to become Oklahoma Baptist's first football coach since 1940.
The university made the announcement Wednesday saying Jensen will immediately begin hiring assistant coaches and recruiting with the first football season to begin in the fall of 2013.
"Chris Jensen embodies our highest ideals for OBU Football," said OBU President David Whitlock. "We desire to compete and win. Chris has that competitive fire and he is a proven winner. We desire to operate a program where young men are challenged to grow physically, spiritually and socially. Coach Jensen has demonstrated the ability to nurture growth in each of those areas. He possesses a combination of football knowledge, personal discipline, spiritual commitment, and determination to succeed. We are thrilled to have him as the coach who will guide OBU Football as we launch a new era of success in collegiate athletics."
"I find it necessary to be that kind of role model for young men and feel it essential to develop them as men of God," said Jensen. "We're going to equip students to pursue academic excellence, integrate faith in all areas of knowledge and engage a diverse world. That is the mission of the University. That's the mission of my football team."
Jensen goes to OBU after starting the football program at Southmoore High School in 2008. In the program's second year, Jensen led the SaberCats to an 11-2 record and a birth into the Class 6A semifinals. In 2009 he was also named the Oklahoma 6A-1 Coach of the Year.
Coach Jensen has also coached at Westmoore HS as the defensive coordinator, Bartlesville HS as the offensive coordinator, Durant HS as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach, Moore HS coaching the offensive line and Little Axe HS where he coached the offensive line and outside linebackers.
Jensen himself played at the University of Oklahoma on the offensive line where he received a varsity letter.
"Chris has been a friend of mine for several years, and I know him to be a coach who is dedicated to his profession and accomplished in his field, yet defined by his Christian character," said Kenny Mossman, senior associate athletics director at OU. "I like the fact that he is highly competitive and every inch a football coach, but also someone who embraces the responsibility of serving as an educator and role model. I guess the highest compliment you can pay any coach is to say that you would gladly send one of your own to play for him. For me, that would certainly be the case with Chris."
"Our number one task in the hiring process was to see that we hired someone who fit the mission of OBU and was a good football coach," said OBU Athletic Director Robert Davenport."I believe that we did both extremely well in the hiring of Chris Jensen. Chris has proven through his life and experience that he will be the type of coach that will provide the leadership to direct our football program for years to come."
Jensen graduated from Lawton High School and received a Naval Academy nomination. He achieved the level of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America. He received his bachelor of science degree in education in December 1992 from OU. He earned his master's degree in education administration from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in May 2006.
"I know there are a lot of people who are interested in the program and have been filling out the (recruiting) applications on line," said Jensen. "My job right now will be hiring assistants and evaluating that information, evaluating players and getting out and meeting coaches."