On Thursday, the University of Oklahoma's softball team opened its 2021 season by setting a new NCAA single-game record for home runs with 13 in a 29-0, 5-inning win over UTEP. Watching from the dugout was the Sooners' long-time successful head coach Patty Gasso, who has four national championships to her credit at OU. While it's been now a remarkable 26 years at OU for Gasso, a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Famer (2012), there are many people who don't know that Gasso is a product of the South Coast Conference.
First, Gasso played at current SCC-member El Camino College (1981-1982, although a member of the Metropolitan Conference at that time), then from 1990-1994, Gasso served as head coach at Long Beach City College, directing the Vikings to three straight SCC crowns before taking the job at Oklahoma in 1995. Gasso compiled a 161-59-1 record at LBCC and has since amassed more than 1,275 NCAA victories and 11 Big 12 Conference titles.
Gasso's 2000 Sooners national title team helped change the outlook of NCAA softball from being just a West Region states-only dominated sport. She also guided Oklahoma to national titles in 2013, 2016 and 2017 while producing a staggering 65 All-American players at OU. Gasso's influence on the next wave of softball coaches is evident in that 20 of her former players or assistants are coaching programs throughout the nation.
In 2004, Gasso was inducted into Long Beach CC's Hall of Champions. In 1992, the then Vikings coach was named the NFCA West Region Community College Coach of the Year.