Remembering Jack Jensen Guilford College Basketball and Golf Coach passed away this week in 2010

It seems like it was only yesterday but it was nearly 8 years ago when we lost Jack Jensen, the former Guilford College basketball and golf coach….It was on March 28, 2010 and from Rick Strunk at the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame:
Jack Jensen died at the age of 71 after returning from a collegiate golf tournament. For 33 years, he coached the Guilford College men’s golf team and was also the long-time Quaker men’s basketball coach. He led both of his teams to National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championships. He joined the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

from Dave Walters, the Sports Information Director at Guilford College:
The most decorated coach in Guilford College’s history, Jack Jensen coached four of the school’s five national championship teams. Three of his golf squads won national titles (1989, 2002, and 2005). He also won 386 games in 29 seasons as the Quakers’ head men’s basketball coach and guided the 1972-73 team to the NAIA national championship, Guilford’s first in any sport. Enshrined in the NAIA, Guilford County and Guilford College Sports Halls of Fame, Jensen was the second person to coach two different sports to NAIA national titles.

The Golf Coaches Association of America installed Jensen into its Hall of Fame in January 2008. His 2005 and 2002 golf units won the NCAA Division III title and the 1989 team won the NAIA crown. Jensen earned national coach of the year recognition after all three championship seasons and led an all-star team to victory in the 2003 Fuji Xerox USA vs. Japan Collegiate Golf Championships.

In addition to three national titles, Guilford has four second-place efforts at national golf tournaments under Jensen’s guidance, including a second-place finish at the 2001 Division III Championships where the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire edged the Quakers by one stroke. The Quakers placed second at the 1985, 1986 and 1987 NAIA National Championships and have 17 top-10 national tournament finishes. Guilford has 17 conference titles and 26 national tournament appearances in Jensen’s 31 years.

Many Guilford golfers have achieved individual distinction in addition to their team success. Under Jensen’s direction, 25 students have received 40 performance and 11 academic All-America honors. Three Quakers captured national tournament medalist honors. Lee Porter, a two-time All-American and 1988 World University Games gold medalist, spent six years on the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour.

After assuming golf-coaching duties in 1976, Jensen built Guilford into an NAIA golf power, a status that continued into 1992 when the Quakers joined the NCAA Division III ranks. Guilford has reached the Division III National Championships in 15 of the team’s 16 years of NCAA membership.

Under coach Horace “Bones” McKinney, Jensen played on Wake Forest University’s 1960-61 Atlantic Coast Conference championship basketball team. He graduated from Wake Forest in 1961 and received a master’s degree in education from UNC Greensboro five years later. After two years as the head boys’ basketball coach at Elkin (N.C.) High School, Jensen came to Guilford in 1965 as an assistant basketball and head track and field coach. He assisted Jerry Steele’s basketball teams before assuming head-coaching duties in 1970.

Steele and Jensen molded Guilford’s basketball program into an NAIA power. After a posting 40-15 record in his first two years as head coach, Jensen guided the unseeded Quakers to the 1973 NAIA Tournament Final where Guilford completed its improbable run with a 99-96 triumph over the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore. The 1972-73 unit included future National Basketball Association (NBA) players M.L. Carr, World B. Free, and Greg Jackson. The Quakers also made NAIA Tournament appearances in 1976 and 1989.

Jensen assisted Gene Keady’s gold medal-winning South men’s basketball team at the 1979 National Sports Festival. In 1990-91, he helped the Quakers transition from NAIA competition to the NCAA Division III ranks.

— Dave Walters, 2008