Lincoln High Legend: Jim Jensen maintains his Lincoln High connection 59 years after graduating

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Lincoln High Legend: Jim Jensen maintains his Lincoln High connection 59 years after graduating

Lincoln High yearbook picture for 1959 varsity track team. Jim Jensen pictured 5th in row three. Photo courtesy of Lincoln High media center.

Lincoln High yearbook picture for 1959 varsity track team. Jim Jensen pictured 5th in row three. Photo courtesy of Lincoln High media center.

Lincoln High yearbook picture for 1959 varsity track team. Jim Jensen pictured 5th in row three. Photo courtesy of Lincoln High media center.

Lincoln High yearbook picture for 1959 varsity track team. Jim Jensen pictured 5th in row three. Photo courtesy of Lincoln High media center.

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By Rukhshona Islamova 

At the age of 76,  Jim Jensen is a man of many talents. He lettered in track all three years of his high school career at Lincoln High, was a part of the National Guard for 27 years, and to this day coaches tennis, while being a volunteer coach for the Lincoln High track team.

“He has a great knack for encouraging athletes. He is very attentive to what the kids’ needs are. He is a great help to all the coaches regardless the area! He is just a great inspiration!” Head sprints coach James Parks said.

ensen has been with Lincoln High track since 2011 as a volunteer coach, but has been a part of Lincoln High’s coaching staff for the past 17 years. Jensen has previously held the the JV and varsity tennis coach positions.

Jim Jensen’s senior year yearbook photo. Photo courtesy of Lincoln High media center.

After holding that job for awhile he decided to relinquish his tennis position, because he wanted to pursue different sports    and not have any regrets later on life.

“I just decided to pursue another area,” Jensen said. 

“Before I got to the point of where people say ‘I wish I would have’. I said I want to try this so I approached Bob [White] about an opening and he said yes I’d like to have you.”

Jensen didn’t become interested in tennis until he was 35 and his interest in that sport has continued throughout his life. But something he’s been with for even longer is running and therefore track. His first memories of running spring from as early as the age of five. Jensen continuously ran throughout his life and into high school. 

He attended Lincoln High from 1957-1959 and lettered all three years. Jensen was a sprinter and competed in the 100 meter dash, 220 meter dash and the 400 meter relay. He was coached by the distinguished Herald Scott that the track is now named after.

Jensen still runs and plays/coaches tennis at least three times a week.

“I don’t run with the sprinters but when I get the chance to I do a little by myself,” Jensen said with a smile on his face. He attends every track practice as well as every track meet no matter where it’s at, occasionally driving out of town on his own. Jensen works directly alongside the sprinters and head sprint coach James Parks.

“He knows how to coach sprinters very well. So I’ve learned a lot from him, ” Jensen said about Parks. Jensen decided to volunteer with the sprinters not only because that was his event in high school, but also because of his want to see what had changed since his high school track career. He has come to make great relationships

Photo of Coach Jensen at a track on April 5th. Photo courtesy of Jim Jensen.

with many athletes,

“Coach Jensen has been around for as long as I can remember,” Junior Angel Tran said. “Ever since the beginning of my freshmen year, Coach Jensen’s main goal has always been to motivate me by showing me all the positive aspects of track, rather than focusing on everything I do wrong– and trust me there’s a lot that I could improve on. If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t be as successful mentally and wouldn’t love track as much as I do now.” Jensen has strong bonds with members of Lincoln High’s staff as well,

“Coach Jensen is a very patient person who is willing to help all athletes experience some type of success.  He is very proud graduate of LHS and continues that same passion as a volunteer coach – he is a ‘True Link’,” Athletic Director Pat Gatzemeyer said.

“He is such a caring person about every athlete. Athletic ability doesn’t matter to Jim, he is excited to work with every athlete,” Athletic secretary LaDonna Clause said.

Coach Jim Jensen is a man who takes his life one day at a time, appreciating every moment that is filled with doing what he loves.