I AM TEXAS: Coach Barbara Jacket

The Texas Story Project.

Coach Barbara Jean "BJ" Jacket, a native of Port Arthur, began her sports career as a 10-year-old playing on a high school softball team. Forty-eight years later, she became only the second African American woman to be named the head coach of an Olympic team.

In the Barcelona Olympics of 1992, Coach Jacket led the U.S. Women's Track and Field Team, including Jackie-Joyner Kersee, Evelyn Ashford, Gwen Torrance, and Gail Devers, to four gold, four silver, and two bronze medals— more than any Olympic Women's Track Team since 1956.

In this Texas Story Project video, Coach Jacket reflects on the people and the paths that helped create her life story.

Editor's note: This story was produced by the Bullock Texas State History Museum and is featured as part of the Texas Story Project Exhibition now on view on the third floor Texas History Gallery.

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