In the 29 seasons that Patty Gasso has coached the Oklahoma Sooners, she's done everything possible. Six national championships, more than 1,450 wins and a spot in the NFCA Hall of Fame are just a few of those accomplishments.
Gasso's legacy won't be limited to banners, trophies or awards when it's time for the 61-year-old coach to retire, whenever that may be. That's because her sons are following in her footsteps, and at the 2023 Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, the Gasso family will be on full display.
Gasso's two sons with her husband, Jim, are both assistant coaches for NCAA programs. One dons the Oklahoma crimson like his mother, while the other could wind up facing the two of them at the WCWS.
JT Gasso Coaches Alongside His Mom
JT has spent the last eight seasons in Norman alongside momma Gasso. In his first two seasons as an assistant, the Sooners won national titles in 2016 and 2017.
He originally played collegiate baseball at Eastern Oklahoma State and East Central University. After graduating, he became a graduate assistant for Oklahoma's softball program. He spent seasons as an assistant at Purdue and Michigan State before he was brought on to Oklahoma's staff in 2016.
He knows a thing or two about hitting ???
????? ???????? to assistant coach JT Gasso! ? pic.twitter.com/zFp1sxojFR
— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) July 15, 2021
With her son by her side, Patty Gasso has taken Oklahoma to unprecedented heights. The Sooners have won the WCWS four of the last six times it's been played and have averaged 57 wins a season since 2016. The 2023 season might be their most dominant one yet, as they're 56-1 and are riding an NCAA-record 48-game win streak into the WCWS.
Still, JT isn't worried about the win streak or any of the chatter surrounding the Sooners.
Handling historic feats is nothing new to OU softball.
— The REF (@KREFsports) May 17, 2023
DJ Gasso is Making His Own Waves at Utah
Across the country is another Gasso gaining steam in the coaching community: DJ Gasso.
JT's younger brother is in his third season as Utah's hitting coach, after being named the associate head coach in December 2022. He joined the Utes staff in June 2020 after spending two seasons as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma, like DJ did. He helped Utah raise its team batting average from .267 in 2021 to .289 in 2022 and now .332 in 2023, the latter of which ranks fourth in the country. I'll let you guess which powerhouse program is first.
DJ admits he goes to his big brother and mom for advice often.
"It's our life. It's what we love...calling my mom for advice sometimes. Trying to pick my brother's brain as much as I can," he told In The Circle.
Oklahoma and Utah are on different sides of the WCWS bracket, which means theoretically the two teams could play each other for a national championship. Admittedly, the 15-seed Utes aren't favored to make it that far the same way the 1-seed Sooners are, but never say never.
Despite the family reunion that will take place in Oklahoma City this week, JT Gasso told the Tulsa World nobody is paying attention to it. They're focused on their players and winning.
"The family doesn't care a ton about it," JT Gasso said. "It's cool. It's awesome. But that has no effect ... it's all about the kids. It's all about the players. We've never wanted the spotlight on us, so we never focus on that.
"It's always been about winning and the experience of these players, these kids and them going to battle. It's the players' playground and we get to be involved in it."
And considering DJ and JT both have kids, the Gasso coaching tree may not stop there. JT married former UCLA All-American softball player Andrea Harrison and has three children: 6-year-old Joseph, 4-year-old Grace, 4, and 7-month-old Ava. DJ has a 6-month-old named Parker with his wife, Grace, who he married in 2021.
Husband Jim Gasso is Also a College Softball Coach
SB: Say hello to the newest member of the @MAChristianUniv family ? Head Coach Jim Gasso! We foresee many more NCCAA national championships in the future.
BIG thank you to Coach Robert Wakefield, who has led the team since 2011.
— MACUAthletics (@MACUathletics) May 19, 2023
Wouldn't you know it, the Gasso coaching tree doesn't stop there. Patty's husband, Jim Gasso, just accepted the head coaching job for the Mid-America Christian University softball program earlier this month.
"MACU has built an exceptional softball program, and I look forward to extending the tradition of excellence," Gasso said in a release. "Most importantly, I'm excited and blessed to use this sport as a platform for ministry."
Gasso said in a press conference she was excited for him because he "gave up his career" for her.
MACU is a private Christian school located in Oklahoma City. That makes it easy for Jim and Patty to do their jobs considering Norman is just 30 minutes away.
Patty Gasso Almost Left Oklahoma in 2000 For Family Reasons
The couple first met at Long Beach State in California, where Patty played softball and Jim played football. Patty didn't waste much time getting into coaching after her college career ended. She became the head softball coach at Long Beach City College in 1990, compiling a 161-59-1 record until taking over at Oklahoma in 1995.
She almost left Oklahoma in 2000. After Jim accepted a soccer coaching job at Fullerton Junior College in California, Gasso was ready to move the family back to her home state. Shipping the kids back and forth took a toll on the family, and it affected how Patty viewed herself as a mother and a coach. She didn't think she was excelling at either.
Then, in 2000, the Sooners won a national championship.
"We won a national championship, and a lot of things changed — in the way of pay, the stadium additions, things like that. So the rest, from there, is kind of history," Patty told Sports Illustrated.
That allowed the entire Gasso family to stay in Oklahoma. And more than two decades later, she's built a full-fledged dynasty and helped launch the careers of her family members.
Starting Thursday, the family reunion will take place at the Women's College World Series. Whether it's Oklahoma, Utah or any of the other schools that come out on top, the Gasso family will win either way.
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