Chris Jensen is the first OBU head football coach since 1940, it was announced Wednesday.
Jensen comes to OBU from Southmoore High School, whose football program Jensen also began.
"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."
Jensen said he drew added inspiration to apply for the position by reading the mission statement of the University.
"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," Jensen said. "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. God bless OBU."
Jensen comes to OBU from Southmoore High School, where he started the football program in 2008. In his and the program's second year, the SaberCats were 11-2 and reached the Class 6A semifinals. Jensen was named Oklahoma 6A-1 Coach of the Year in 2009.
"I believe Chris Jensen is a great fit for OBU. He is a tremendous coach and an even better man," said University of Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship. "He did an incredible job leading the Southmoore football program from infancy to a championship contender in just a few short years,"
Jensen's coaching stops also include assistant posts at Westmoore (defensive coordinator), Bartlesville (offensive coordinator), Durant (offensive coordinator and assistant head coach), Moore (offensive line) and Little Axe (offensive line and outside linebackers).
Jensen was a varsity letterman at the University of Oklahoma, playing on the offensive line.
"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."
A self-described Army brat, Jensen graduated from Lawton High School and received a Naval Academy nomination. He achieved the level of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America.
Jensen 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.
Chris and his wife, Patti, have three children, Taylor Tanner and Camryn. They are members of Emmaus Baptist Church, where Chris serves as a deacon.
"Ournumber 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 ofcoach that will provide the leadership todirect our football program for years to come."
Jensen will begin hiring assistant coaches and hitting the recruiting trail. OBU will recruit a leadership class for 2012-13 and begin its first football season in the fall of 2013.
"I know there are a lot of people who are interested in the program and have been filling out the (recruiting) applications on line," Jensen said. "My job right now will be hiring assistants and evaluating that information, evaluating players and getting out and meeting coaches."