- Oklahoma softball coach Patty Gasso will add another honor to an already impressive career when she is one of three members inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame Friday night at the 2012 NFCA Convention in Orlando, Fla.
Gasso joins North Carolina's Donna Papa and former Palomar head coach Mark Eldridge as members of the 2012 class.
"It's one of the most prestigious honors a coach can receive," Gasso said. "It's quite a blessing and, at the same time, it's a tribute to all the great players, coaches and support staff I've had throughout the years.
"I've had some great mentors who have helped me during my career, but it's my family that has really allowed me to succeed at this level because of their love and support."
The upcoming 2013 season will be Gasso's 19th year at the helm of Oklahoma. She has reached the postseason in all 18 of her years at OU, including seven trips to the Women's College World Series, highlighted by the school's 2000 national championship.
Gasso has a career record of 1032-338-2 with a record of 871-279-2 at OU after five successful years at Long Beach City College. Gasso's teams have won nearly 74 percent of their Big 12 games along with five regular season Big 12 crowns and four Big 12 Championship wins. Her teams have finished second or higher 13 different times since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996, she has won more Big 12 games (237-81) than any coach in the league's history and she has twice as many wins as any other coach in OU history.
"It's another notch of respect for the program and something that can be shared by all the coaches I've had on staff," Gasso said about her induction. "It shows just how consistent and stable the program has been.
"I want to thank the athletes, coaches, support staff and those that have worked with me through the years and given their heart to this program."
Numerous Sooner players have prospered under Gasso's tutelage and garnered national, regional and conference recognition. She has directed 41 All-Americans, 88 All-Region honorees and 118 all-conference selections.
In 2012, Keilani Ricketts became the first player in school history to be named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. In addition, she also took home the Honda Softball Player of the Year Award and was a finalist for the Sportswoman of the Year Award.
The OU softball success under Gasso has also spilled over into the classroom where the Sooners have been honored with 83 academic all-conference honors. Six of those have gone on to become Academic All-Americans, including Lana Moran, the 2000 Academic All-American of the Year.
Gasso and her staff have consistently been recognized for their efforts on and off the field. The staff was awarded three consecutive Speedline/NFCA Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year awards from 1999-2001 and received the national honor in 2000. Gasso and staff have claimed the Midwest honor in six seasons, with the most recent award coming in 2012.
In addition, Gasso has been named the Big 12 and Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 1996, 1999 and 2000. She was named the 2009 Big 12 Coach of the Year.