NORMAN — University of Oklahoma associate head softball coach Melyssa Lombardi was officially announced as head coach at Oregon on Monday.
“I am excited for the opportunity to become the head coach at the University of Oregon,” Lombardi said. “This would not at all be possible if Coach (Patty) Gasso didn't take a chance on me 21 years ago. I am forever grateful to Coach Gasso and what she has done for me and my family. Over the years she has constantly pushed me out of my comfort zone to achieve greatness. The entire Gasso Family has been an absolute blessing and I will miss them all.
“I reflect back on my career at OU and will remember all the great athletes, coaches, staff members and unbelievable fans that have entered my life,” Lombardi continued. “The University of Oklahoma is first class from top to bottom. I would also like to thank President David Boren, Athletic Director Joe Castiglione and Senior Associate Athletic Director Kenny Mossman and the entire Sooner Family for their constant support over the years. I have been blessed and look forward to this new journey in my coaching career.”
Lombardi has spent the past 21 seasons as a full-time coach at OU, guiding the Sooner pitchers and catchers. During her tenure, the Sooners have won the 2000, 2013, 2016 and 2017 National Championships and have won 17 NCAA Regional Championships in 21 postseason appearances. In addition, the Sooners have claimed 10 Big 12 regular season titles (1999, 2000, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018) and five conference tournament championships (2001, 2007, 2010, 2017 and 2018).
As a member of the Sooners' coaching staff, Lombardi has been a part of four NFCA National Coaching Staffs of the Year (2000, 2013, 2016 and 2017), and 11 Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year (1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018). In 2017, she was named the NFCA's Division I Assistant Coach of the Year.
Lombardi has also coached the Oklahoma battery to a combined 20 All-America honors, 37 All-Region accolades and 77 All-Big 12 honors during her time in Norman.
A former all-conference catcher who played for the Sooners from 1995-96, Lombardi began her coaching career as a student assistant at OU in 1997. She was named Oklahoma’s assistant coach in 1998 and was promoted to associate head coach in 2007.
“A head coach could not have asked for a more loyal and valuable assistant than Missy Lombardi,” OU head coach Patty Gasso said. “We have been side by side in the trenches and have shared 17 Big 12 Championships and four national championship moments together. But more than that, we shared ‘life’ together both on and off the field. That said, she is more than ready to be a head coach. She represents everything that is good about our sport and knows what it takes to compete at a championship level.
“We are proud of what she has accomplished and the role our program has played in her preparation,” Gasso continued. “It’s time for this next chapter in her career and she leaves with more gratitude than we can put into words. The OU coaching tree just went to another level, and we give our very best wishes and love to both her and her family as they embark on this new journey. The Lombardis will forever be a part of the Sooner Family.”