Edwards Media | Barbara BJ Jacket Prairie View Track and Field Olympic Coach Legend
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Barbara Jacket, BJ, 1992, Track and Field, Women's, Olympic, Barcelona, Prairie View A&M,
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Olympic Coach, Barbara Jacket

This winter we spent a day filming legendary Olympic track coach, Barbara Jacket, as part of the “I Am Texas” documentary series for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. 


Jacket grew up in a one-room house with her single mother & siblings.


Her childhood in Port Arthur, TX was marked by frequent fights and skipping school. Jacket began to shape a brighter future for herself through athletics, as a result of the kindness shown to her by her basketball coach, Ms. Guidry.


After earning a basketball scholarship to Tuskegee University, Jacket went on to establish the women’s track program at Prairie View A&M University. As coach at Prairie View A&M, Jacket won 20 national championships, turned out 57 All-American athletes and five Olympic contenders.


In 1992 she was named the head coach for the U.S. Women’s Track and Field Team for the Barcelona Olympics. Her team took home more medals than any other Olympic Women’s Track team since 1956.


From her home in Prairie View, Jacket recounted stories of her former athletes coming to her and thanking her for the “tough love” she showed them during their track years. Several have gone on to become coaches themselves. To this day, Barbara Jacket attributes the success she and her athletes have seen to the caring attitude shown to her by coaches before.


Special thanks to author PJ Pierce for helping us produce this story. 




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