Patty Gasso: An Outstanding Legacy in Oklahoma Sooners Softball History

NFCA Hall of Fame head coach Patty Gasso, who will begin her 30th season at the University of Oklahoma in 2024, is a towering figure in collegiate softball coaching. She has not only developed the OU softball program into a national powerhouse but has also cemented her place among the nation’s best college softball coaches.

Unmatched Succes

During Gasso’s leadership, Oklahoma has won an astounding seven national titles, demonstrating an unprecedented degree of success (2000, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2021, 2022, and 2023). With this accomplishment, the Sooners become one of only three teams in NCAA history to win more than two national championships. In addition to winning championships, Gasso has led the Sooners to the Women’s College World Series sixteen times in her tenure, and the team has made it to the postseason in each of her 29 seasons (not counting the 2020 break).

Coaching Legacy

Gasso has a stellar collegiate coaching record of 1,617-404-3 (.799) after 33 seasons as a head coach. Her time at OU is the only factor contributing to her record of 1,456-345-2 (.808). Gasso is the most dominant coach in Big 12 history, with an incredible 394-87 record (.819) in conference play, better than any other coach in the league’s history. Under her leadership, the Sooners have won an astounding 15 Big 12 regular-season crowns, including a record 11 straight since the 2012 campaign. They have also won eight conference tournament championships, which solidifies Gasso’s reputation as a legendary coach.

Effect on Player Development

Gasso has a significant influence on each player’s personal growth that extends beyond the domain of wins. Under her guidance, a number of Sooner players have thrived and received conference, regional, and national acclaim. Keilani Ricketts and Jocelyn Alo are two outstanding examples; Ricketts won the coveted USA Softball Player of the Year title in 2012 and 2013, while Alo won the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year honor in 2021 and 2022. At OU, Gasso has successfully selected and coached an astounding 79 All-Americans, 145 All-Region winners, and 192 all-conference players.

Stress on Academic Excellence

Gasso places a strong emphasis on academic achievement in addition to athletic accomplishments. The OU softball program has earned 170 academic all-conference awards. Twenty of these recipients—including Lana Moran, the 2000 Academic All-American of the Year—have been designated Academic All-Americans.

Acknowledgment and accolades

Gasso’s coaching staff has also received national distinction in 2000, 2013, 2016, 2017, and 2023, as well as multiple Speedline/NFCA Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year accolades for their combined efforts. Being recognized as one of the most admired and honored coaches in collegiate softball history, Gasso has been selected the Big 12 Coach of the Year an astounding 15 times.

Continuing Legacy:

As Patty Gasso embarks on her 30th season at the helm of the Oklahoma Sooners softball program, her legacy of excellence continues to inspire players, coaches, and fans alike, cementing her status as an icon in the world of collegiate athletics.

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