By: Kenny Bybee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOUSTON -- Rice women's track and field head coach Jim Bevan announced on Wednesday the hiring of Owl alumna Funmi Jimoh as an assistant coach, where she'll return to her alma mater to coach the women's sprints, hurdles and relays.
A member of the Rice Athletics Hall of Fame (2015), Jimoh brings a wealth of experience to the Owls following an illustrious collegiate and professional career.
"We are excited to announce the hiring of Funmi Jimoh to our staff," Bevan said. "We are extremely fortunate to have someone that is a multi-faceted, home run hire. Funmi is a tremendous teacher as I've seen her work with athletes over the years here as well as elsewhere. She brings an elite athlete's experience having made the Olympic Games and three other U.S. World Championship teams. Funmi also knows what it's like to come to a great institution like Rice and pursue excellence in the classroom and the field. She will be a great role model for our young ladies to look up to and learn from. I look forward to having Funmi with us in a leadership role on a daily basis and representing Rice University."
Jimoh, who graduated from Rice in 2007, was an assistant coach at UTPA in 2008 and assisted Coach Jon Warren and the Owls' men's team in 2015.
"Rice has always been my home," Jimoh said. "I'm proud to be back to assist Coach Bevan in teaching, leading, and coaching a group of young women I believe in, at a university I truly believe in."
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, she began competing in the long jump on a national level 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 in 2007 when she placed fifth in the long jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. That accomplishment came on the heels of winning the NCAA Midwest Regional and finishing ninth at the USA Outdoor Championships. That same season Jimoh scored 21 points at the '07 C-USA Championships to help lead the Owls to a team title her senior season.
Jimoh still maintains the Rice record in the heptathlon and 100m hurdles. At the 2004 WAC Outdoor Championships, she totaled 24.5 points to lead the Owls to a team title. The previous year Jimoh was named the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year.