OPSU names Jessi James to lead track and field program

OPSU Athletics
Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director

GOODWELL – Oklahoma Panhandle State University Director of Athletics, Victor Esparza, has announced that veteran coach, Jessi James has been named as the program’s head track & field coach.

“I want to welcome Jessi and her family to our Aggie family,” Esparza said. “We had a great applicant pool and she emerged as one of the top candidates. When we spoke to folks in the track & field world, her name kept coming up as a person who is ready and capable of leading a program. And it is a bonus that she is already in our region and, has roots in the Panhandle.”

James brings a lot of insight to the Aggies’, as she is a lifetime resident of the Panhandle of Oklahoma.  Including experience not only running collegiately for two Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) schools, but she has also coached many young athletes and assisted them to get recruited to many schools in the SAC.

“I could not be more excited to be part of bringing track and field to OPSU, it has been a dream of mine and I’m ready to get the program off the ground” Jessi said.

While guiding the Panhandle State Men’s & Women’s track & field team will be James’ first college head coaching position, she takes on the task with over 10 years of experience. Most recently, James was the Head Track & Field Coach in Keyes, Oklahoma. In addition, James has been the Athletic Director for 5 years at Keyes Public Schools.

“I’m excited Coach James is joining Aggie Athletics,” OPSU President Tim Faltyn said. “She has tremendous passion for teaching young people and track & field. She’s already working with our Athletic Director to develop great plans for the program that will enable our athletes to compete, to grow and be successful students. Coach James is not only an excellent teacher of the sport and mentor to her student athletes, she knows the region as one of us who loves the Oklahoma Panhandle.”

As for her own collegiate career, James began her collegiate career at Wayland Baptist University (1999), where she ran the 4×400 and 4×100. Jones earned two NAIA titles on the National level: All-American for both events in indoor and outdoor. Then, she finished her athletic career at Oklahoma Baptist University (2000-03), where she competed in 4x100m, 4x400m relays, 55m hurdles, pole-vault, long jump and the 200m.

James earned her Bachelor’s in health, Physical Education, and Recreation from Oklahoma Baptist University, in 2003. Then, proceeded to get her Master’s in Education from East Central University, in 2013.  James will be joining the Aggies on June 1, with her sons, Drew, Dylan and, Tayton.

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