“We have provided more opportunities for Oklahoma kids to continue their football careers, and receive an outstanding education in the process,” Jensen said. “OBU alumni have graduated from this university for 73 years, wishing they had a football team and this has brought a lot of them back to our campus. I think the Shawnee community, is like most communities in Oklahoma, and they just love football. It’s evident that they wanted a local college program that they could rally behind. We are blessed with administrators who want to do things in a first class manner and they have worked extremely hard to create a phenomenal atmosphere for game day on our campus.”
One of the focal points Jensen has focused on is bringing in-state kids to the program. Several played for him at Southmoore, such as Gilbert, Nyko Symonds and Derek Serowski.
But Jensen also made sure to recruit players from cities and towns from across the state like Norman, Edmond, Lawton, Midwest City, Newcastle and Tulsa.
“I believe we are building or strengthening fan bases in those various communities,” Jensen said. “When they know we have players here, who played in their programs, they instantly become OBU fans.”
Despite that, wins have been hard to come by in the Bison’s first year. Playing in the NAIA’s Sooner Athletic Conference, the team amassed a 2-6 record in its first eight games. The program’s first win since 1960 came against Southwestern University on Oct. 12. The next week they won their first home game when they beat Wayland Baptist.
“This is something we wanted to do since the beginning,” Gilbert said. “Winning at home is real big. The first win was special because it was the first one since 1940. To come back at home and get it in front of the home crowd means a lot.”
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