Guilford has lost their beloved coach: The Legend, Jack Jensen passes away

Posted by Andy Durham on March 29, 2010 at 10:53 am under College | 4 Comments to Read

This is a loss for the entire Guilford College community, as former Guilford College basketball coach and current Guilford golf coach passed away on Sunday at age 71….

The news kind of leaves you with a sick feeling in your stomach……

This is a hit and real shock to lose the man we have known in the Guilford College community since back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s….

Jack was the man…..He took this school to the NAIA National Championship in basketball and won several golf titles too….

He is a legend to all of us that grew up in Guilford Collge and that was our town for many years before Greensboro sucked us up back in the mid-70’s….Everyone that grew up in Guilford College loved, lived and breathed Guilford College basketball and Jack Jensen was our leader after Jerry Steele left and went to the Carolina Cougars(ABA) and then over to High Point College….

WCOG, 1320AM was our radio station and as a kid I would listen to every Guilford College Quaker basketball game and to some of the football games too, but you didn’t get much return from football in those days…..

When Guilford would go to Kansas City for the NAIA National basketball tournament we could bring our radios to school at Guilford Elementary and listen to the games with Bob Kauffman, Bert Feik, Eddy Dyer, Tom Ennis, Pat Moriarity, Bo Whitaker, John Brooks, David Smith, Jerry Crocker, Teddy East, Greg Jackson, Lloyd Free, ML Carr, Steve Hankins, Ray Massengale, Robert Kent, Johnny Ralls and all the Quakers, including our communty’s beloved coach, Jack Jensen….

It was a real love affair with this team and I don’t think we’ll see anything like that ever again around here….This was, “The Team”, and Jack Jensen was our coach….

I had never met Jack as a kid, as my family did not attend games, since we lived on a farm and because we all had to work and then get up and go to school the next day, I didn’t meet “The Man”, until later years…..I always had thought that a man with his successes would be distant and come across as a big-shot, but not Jack Jensen….He was one of the nicest and most interesting people that you would ever have the chance to meet…..

Thank-you Jack Jensen for being there and for treating everyone with such class and dignity as you made your way through Guilford College history and thanks again for bringing that National Championship to our community back in the early 70’s….

RIP Jack, you deserve the rest after all the hard work you did…..


  • Guilford College Basketball said,

    How could a man
    Win 4 National Championships

    Be a member of the following Hall of Fames:
    NAIA
    North Carolina
    Guilford County
    Guilford College
    Wake Forest University
    Golf Coaches Association of America

    Coach 3 NBA players and 1 PGA tour member

    Play on an ACC Championship basketball team

    Coach 26 Golf teams to the national tournament and then finish in the Top 10, 17 times

    Coach 12 Academic All-Americans
    And still be humble?

    It seems impossible, but if you had the great fortune of crossing paths with Jack Jensen then you know one man was able to do it. The man accomplished more as a coach than many even dream of. The success he had on the court and on links is remarkable, still he never gave off the impression that he was anything but a man that loved sports and teaching. Each year when freshmen would enroll in Jacks tennis or softball classes, I would have to educate them on who Coach Jensen was. They knew the court in Ragan-Brown Field House was named after him, but they didn’t realize he holds the record for most wins in school history in two sports and is responsible for four of the schools five national championships. He was a man that shied away from the spotlight even though there was no one that deserved it more.

    Guilford College lost an icon yesterday, a man that will be surely missed. I lost a man that would frequently come into my office and talk for 30 minutes minimum, and well over an hour some days (those were the good days for me). I was honored that Jack would take the time to impart his wisdom onto me.

    I feel blessed to have known Jack Jensen. He made my life, and thousands of other coaches and players lives, better. Simply put, I will miss him.

  • Quaker Club Member said,

    There will always be only one Jack Jensen and he will never die.

    The spirit of this man will live on forever in the Guilford College community.

    We salute you for your contributions.

    RIP:Coach Jack Jensen
    March 28, 2010

  • Andy said,

    Well done by Allen Johnson over at http://www.news-record.com and you can Click Here to see all of what Allen was saying and you can also catch the comments as well…

    Allen Johnson N&R on-line:

    Remembering Jack Jensen
    Very sorry to hear that Jack Jensen has died at age 71.

    Along with those four national championship teams he coached at Guilford College, he was simply good people.

    I became a Guilford basketball fan as a kid growing in Greensboro. When the Tar Heels or the old ABA Carolina Cougars weren’t playing, I’d catch Quaker games on the Top 40 AM station in town at the time, WCOG.

    That’s where I started to pull for a Quaker team that included David Smith, Jerry Crocker and some guy named M.L. Carr.
    Carr, who went on to an NBA career with the Boston Celtics, was one of my favorites, though I initially had the misimpression that his first name was “Emil.”

    Jack won an NAIA national championship in basketball in 1973, my freshman year in college.

    I had the pleasure to get to know Jack better 20 years later when I was sports editor at the News & Record and we’d hold luncheons with the local basketball coaches.

    Even though times were leaner for the Quakers by then, he was always gracious and upbeat.

    Coaching Division III hoops is hard enough. But Jack also coached golf for much of the time he was basketball coach at Guilford and continued to coach golf until the day he died.

    All he did was win three national crowns in that sport.

    He richly deserves the title legend.

  • Mark McDaniel said,

    Jack Jensen gone but not forgotten. He was a true friend to everyone he came in contact with. Thank-you Jack Jensen.