Sept. 9, 2005
"After seven years away, I'm home now", an enthusiastic Jenny Kenyon commented. A Newbury Park native, just a short drive down 101 from Santa Barbara, Jenny was hired as a new Men's & Women's Track & Field Assistant Coach for the Gauchos. Coming onto the Gaucho team after a truly historic year in which the Gaucho Women won their first Big West Championship; Kenyon's duties will primarily consist of coaching the sprinters and jumpers to be perennial leaders in the Big West.
Kenyon, comes to UC Santa Barbara from DePaul University in Chicago, IL where she not only coached the sprinters, hurdlers and multi-event athletes, but also developed strength and conditioning programs for the throwers. In her two years as an assistant coach under Head Coach Gordon Thomson, Kenyon oversaw seven Conference USA Champions, five NCAA Regional qualifiers and an NCAA Championship participant. In 2004, the Blue Demon ladies also scored their most team points ever at the C-USA Indoor Championships. Along with these accolades, numerous school records were broken by her athletes in their events.
Commenting on her time in Chicago, Kenyon stated, "it was good to see other programs and athletes other than those on the west coast. It gave me a broader perspective."
After graduating high school in Southern California she decided to attend college and compete just up Highway 5 at the University of Oregon. Competing for the Ducks' storied Track & Field program, she epitomized the Student-Athlete role by getting it done on and off the track. She was a PAC-10 scorer in the heptathlon in her four years of eligibility (1999-2002) as well as the 100m Hurdles in 2002. She ended her career with the sixth highest heptathlon score in Oregon Ducks history. In 2002, she was also named a Verizon Academic All-American.
Graduating with a B.S. in Educational Studies and a minor in Business Administration, Kenyon felt that she would get into teaching initially. She decided to pursue her masters at U of O in Educational Leadership and Higher Education immediately following her undergraduate studies.
"I thought I wanted to teach. I did a little bit of private coaching and then while I was getting my masters I also began to coach at Willamette University as a volunteer."
While getting her masters and training professionally in the heptathlon with Team XO in Eugene, Kenyon made time to privately coach and also travel two to three days a week (an hour each way) to volunteer coach at Willamette University. As a private coach she assisted a 2003 American and 2004 World Masters Record Holder as well as a Junior Oregon State Champion and an Oregon State High School Champion. She also maintained a Graduate Assistant position for Student Services in the U of O Athletic Department as a liaison to community agencies and local schools.
It was in this first year of her masters that she decided to pursue her love of coaching. "I took the DePaul University interview after my first year for experience, and it was then that I could see myself working in what I love to do," Kenyon stated.
Finishing her masters in the summers, Kenyon took the job at DePaul and coached the Blue Demons for two years before landing at UCSB. Her experiences at DePaul and the Pac-10 Conference University of Oregon Ducks will bring yet another level to the Gaucho program after an exciting and historic 2005 campaign.