Priscilla Jensen knows about reinvention.
Vacationing in San Francisco in 2005, she suffered a cardiac arrest and was officially pronounced dead. During years of recovery and surgeries, Jensen questioned God’s purpose for her life. Eventually, she walked away from a career in international business to teach and coach collegiate tennis.
So it makes sense that Jensen leads FPU’s reinvented women’s tennis team when it returns for 2018-19.
In 2014 Jensen established San Diego Christian College’s men’s and women’s tennis program, producing two conference championships, 24 All-Americans and one GSAC Player of the Year. In 2017, she was named Wilson/ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) West Region Coach of the Year.
Jensen received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in intercultural/international studies and international business from Biola University, where she played tennis and soccer. After graduation, she returned to her native Netherlands with her American-born husband, Robert, and son, Skylar, to work for corporations including T-Mobile and Lyondell-Basell Chemical.
The family relocated to San Diego in 2011 when Robert accepted a position at San Diego Christian. There she taught business and intercultural studies before switching to tennis.
FPU’s leadership attracted Jensen. “Some of the staff and faculty I met were just so warm and welcoming. They love the Lord, and they’re all there for the same reason. I noticed they respect their leadership, and I think that’s key. If everyone shares the vision of the president, you can go far,” she says.
The diverse student population was also appealing. “I don’t look Dutch,” she notes. “My parents are Indonesian. I was an international student. I love to make people feel at home.” Her San Diego Christian roster included student-athletes from Africa, Asia and Europe. “I bring that diversity to FPU athletics as well,” she adds.
Since both coach and student-athletes will be new, Jensen’s focus for 2018-19 is to help the team develop spiritually, academically and athletically. “I’m big on mentoring and building the relationship with the players, building trust with each other. I want them to feel like they’re part of this family. Not just the tennis family, but the FPU family.”