Oklahoma softball: Sooner Coaches Honored as National Staff of the Year

Three weeks ago, Oklahoma softball took home the Women’s College World Series trophy as back-to-back national champions.

The WCWS championship wasn’t the only repeat performance by the Sooners in softball this past season. This week, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association named the Oklahoma softball coaching staff as the National Staff of the Year. The Sooner coaches received the same honor a year ago after Oklahoma won it first of back-to-back WCWS titles in 2016.

Overall, this is the fourth time since 2000 that the Oklahoma coaches have been honored by the NFCA as the best coaching staff in Division I college softball. The Sooner coaches also won the award in the team’s three previous national championship seasons in 2000, 2013 and 2016

Under the leadership of head coach Patty Gasso, who just completed her 23rd season at Oklahoma, the Sooners began the 2017 season as the preseason No. 1 team in the national and ended it the same way, sweeping Florida in the WCWS championship series, and finishing the season with a record of 61-9.

OU won 38 of its final 40 games in 2017, and along the way won its sixth consecutive Big 12 regular season championship and 10th overall.

The Sooner coaching staff this season included Gasso, associate head coach Melyssa Lombardi, a former all-conference catcher for OU who has been with Gasso for 20 seasons, assistant coach J.T. Gasso and  volunteer assistant coach Andrea Gasso.

Gasso was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame in 2012. She has won 1,146 games at Oklahoma, a .780 winning percentage, and her 307 wins in the Big 12 is the most of any softball coach in league history. Gasso ranks sixth in winning percentage among active softball coaches (with a minimum of five years) and 14th all-time (minimum of 10 years).