One of the world's elite long jumpers, Funmi Jimoh, brings her international experience back to Rice University, her alma mater, as a volunteer assistant coach.
Last summer was a whirlwind for the young Houston native and Dulles High School graduate (2002). At the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., she became the first Rice women's track and field athlete to make the U.S. Olympic team when she jumped 6.72m/22-0.75 in front of a crowd of over 20,000 fans. Former Rice shot put champion Regina Cavanaugh served an alternate on both the 1984 and 1988 Olympic teams.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Jimoh advanced to the long jump finals and placed 12th in the world with a best mark of 6.29m/20-7.75. 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.
All of that, just one year removed from college life.
During her senior season in 2007, Jimoh became another Rice All-American when she placed fifth in the long jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championship (6.43m/21-1.25) after winning the NCAA Midwest Regional (6.35m/20-10w) and she finished ninth at the USA Outdoor Championship (6.38m/20-11.25).
A phenomenal athlete, Jimoh competed for Rice in the 100m hurdles, high jump, long jump, heptathlon, pentathalon, and 4x100m relay team. She twice broke the Rice record in heptathlon (5,335 points) and she 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. She is a former 2002 youth national high jump champion and 2002 USA Junior Olympic high jump champion.
Jimoh graduated from Rice University with a B.A. degree with double-major in English and women and gender studies in May 2007. After working 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.