HOUSTON – Rice men’s track and field head coach Jon Warren announced on Friday the addition of newly minted Rice Athletics Hall of Famer Funmi Jimoh to the Owls’ coaching staff.
One of the world’s elite long jumpers, Jimoh brings her international experience to her alma mater as a full-time assistant coach. Jimoh had spent the past couple of seasons as a volunteer assistant for the women’s program.
Jimoh is one of eight former student-athletes set to be inducted into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame Friday evening at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton.
Jimoh made her first Olympic team one year after she finished a decorated career at Rice. Jimoh regularly competed for the Owls in the 100m hurdles, high jump, 4x100 relay and heptathlon. After her redshirt senior year, her talent in the long jump became obvious as she began competing on the national level in her senior season in 2007. In only one year, she went from finishing ninth at USA Outdoors in 2007 to finishing 12th at the Olympic Games in 2008.
Jimoh became a Rice All-American her senior season (2007) when she placed fifth in the long jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championship (6.43m/21-1.25). That accomplishment came on the heels of winning the NCAA Midwest Regional (6.35m/20-10w) and finishing ninth at the USA Outdoor Championship (6.38m/20-11.25).
She twice broke the Rice record in heptathlon (5,335 points) and snapped the school record in 100m hurdles with a time of 13.42 at the NCAA Outdoor Championship in the prelim, erasing the previous mark set by her hurdles coach, Andrea Blackett, in 1997.
At the 2004 WAC Outdoor Championship she totaled 24.5 points to lead the Owls to the team title. In 2003, Jimoh was named Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year.
Prior to the Olympics, on March 29, 2008, she jumped what was then the number-one mark in the world with a leap of 6.91m (22-8) at the Victor Lopez Bayou Classic on the Rice campus.
Jimoh graduated from Rice with a B.A. degree with double-major in English and women & gender studies in May 2007. After serving as an event and community coordinator at the Rice Recreation Center, Jimoh spent the 2008 track and field season as an assistant coach at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas.