Palmyra hires SIU all-time hits leader as new softball coach, adds Hannibal product as assistant football coach


Jenny Jansen, who graduated from Southern Illinois as the career leader in hits, at-bats and RBIs, will be Palmyra's new varsity softball coach. | Photo courtesy SIU Athletics

PALMYRA, Mo. — The Palmyra coaching staff is getting an injection of youth across the board.

During its May meeting, the Palmyra R-I Board of Education approved the hiring of Jenny Jansen, a 2022 graduate of Southern Illinois University, as the new varsity softball coach and two former Culver-Stockton College football players — Dalton Huffman and Isaac Williamson — as assistant football coaches.

Jansen also will teach middle school physical education, while Huffman will teach middle school social studies and Williamson will be a middle school special education teacher.

Palmyra has replaced three head coaches this spring — Dalton Hill, a 2022  graduate of Northwest Missouri State, is taking over the football program, and Kelsey Stuart, a 2022 graduate of the University of Central Missouri, will be the new girls basketball coach.

A native of Warrenton, Mo., Jansen became the all-time hits leader at SIU during her five-year career. She was a first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference and first-team All-Mideast Region selection as a sophomore in 2019 and a first-team All-MVC and second-team All-Mideast selection in 2022.

Jansen, who played center field and first base during her career, set SIU career records for hits (249), at-bats (710) and runs batted in (180). She also was third in career doubles (46) and home runs (35).

She inherits a program with a rich tradition. The Panthers went 12-16 last fall and lost to Fulton in the district semifinals. However, Palmyra has won five state championships and made eight final four appearances since 1997.

Huffman, a Hannibal, Mo., native, was an NAIA second-team All-American linebacker for Culver-Stockton College in 2021 when he led the Wildcats with 98 tackles. He had 18 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He also had five forced fumbles and two passes defended.

Huffman became the program’s all-time leader in tackles and ended his career with 396 total stops. He finished with 56 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks in his 47-game career.

Williamson played offensive line for four years at C-SC.

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