SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — During the month of March, KOLR 10, Ozarks Fox, and Ozarksfirst.com are honoring Remarkable Women. We asked people in the community to nominate women who inspired them, and our panel of judges selected four finalists.

Finalist Jeni Hopkins has spent her life and career replacing the word adversity with opportunity. Something she learned during her own time as an athlete and then a coach.

“The number one thing you can learn from sports is coping skills, to get up when you fall down, and to continue moving forward after you fail. You cannot succeed without failing first,” said Hopkins. 

After playing basketball herself, Hopkins spent over 20 years coaching Girls High School Basketball in the Springfield area. Hopkins’s time as a coach inspired her own students to become coaches. 

“It wasn’t just X’s and O’s with coach Hopkins,” said former student Caitlyn Lamberth.

As a coach, Hopkins has touched countless lives. Former athlete Caitlin Lamberth said as a student at Hillcrest she could always look to Hopkins for advice both on and off the court. Lamberth is now the head coach for central Girls Basketball, something Hopkins encouraged her to pursue. 

“She was one of the first people who truly believed that I would be a coach one day. She put it in my head that I had the basketball IQ to be a coach in my future,” Lamberth said. 

Today, Hopkins works as the Interim Assistant Director at Greenwood Laboratory School. Her colleague Dr. Ron Snodgrass said Hopkins brings an incredible quality to her work at the school.

“She’s all about helping others get better and she does that here and she does that outside as well,” said Snodgrass. 

Her work at Greenwood is just her day job. Besides working as an educator, Hopkins also hosts her own radio show called “A Coach’s Perspective” every Wednesday on ESPN affiliate The Jock.

Whether it’s through her radio show, sports counseling, or work with the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame, Hopkins says it’s been an honor to see how sports can shape the lives of athletes.

 “I have a front-row seat. I’m watching the development and the growth of these young athletes and that is energizing,” Hopkins said. 

You can add small business owner, play-by-play analyst– and sports counselor to her resume, but for Beverly Ramsey, the role Hopkins excels at the most is being an amazing friend and mother.

That’s why she nominated Hopkins for the Remarkable Women Contest. 

“She is by far the kind of person that I strive to be each day. She just is a person I look up to and I totally admire her and am very glad that I have a friend like that in my corner,” said Ramsey. 

Hopkins says that if you want to help others, you should start where you can.  

“It’s a matter of we get one life, live it,” said Hopkins. 

You can listen to A Coach’s Perspective Wednesday nights live from 6:00-7:00 pm on 99.9FM/96.9FM or on the Radio-Springfield app.

Watch a new Remarkable Women story every Tuesday in March. The winner will be announced on April 1.