JUNE 27 SPY UPDATE
OU athletics: Regents approve hefty raises for softball
coach Patty Gasso, assistants
OKLAHOMA SOFTBALL — Sooners softball coach Patty Gasso will receive a 40 percent bump in her annual salary after winning the NCAA title.
By Jason Kersey Modified: June 26, 2013 at 1:40 pm • Published: June 26, 2013
NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents rewarded softball coach Patty Gasso for the Sooners’ national championship with a hefty, 40-percent bump in her annual salary.
Gasso, who has coached the OU softball team for 19 seasons, received an increase from $215,000 to $350,000 per year.
OU has won two softball national championships under Gasso. The first came in 2000, and her second came earlier this month after a clean sweep through postseason play.
The regents also approved a $65,000 bonus for Gasso if she wins a third national championship.
Gasso’s assistants were also rewarded handsomely by the regents. Melyssa Lombardi received a $33,960 increase for a $120,000 annual salary, and Tripp Mackay got a $31,760 raise and will earn $100,000 annually.
OU regents did not consider raises for football coach Bob Stoops, men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger or women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale, although some assistants working under each did have salaries bumped.
Jerry Schmidt, who has worked as OU’s strength and conditioning coach throughout Stoops’ 14-year tenure, received a $13,000 annual raise to $270,000.
Men’s basketball assistant coaches Steve Henson, Lew Hill and Chris Crutchfield will each earn $215,250 next year after receiving $10,000 annual raises.
Women’s basketball assistants Jan Ross and Chad Thrailkill also received $10,000 bumps, and another Coale assistant, Pam DeCosta, got a $15,000 raise, lifting their annual salaries to $196,400, $143,600 and $133,000, respectively.
OU Softball Nominated for Two ESPY Awards
Sooners up for Best Team, Ricketts a nominee for Best Female College Athlete
June 27, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. – The season may have ended weeks ago, but the accolades and honors continue to roll in for the Oklahoma softball team. Just this week Keilani Ricketts won the Honda Cup, while the coaches were named the NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year.
Now the Sooners will compete against the rest of the sports world with two ESPY Award nominations. Oklahoma is nominated for Best Team, while Ricketts is up for Best Female College Athlete.
The 21st annual ESPY Awards are scheduled to air live on ESPN at 8 p.m. CT on July 17 with actor Jon Hamm serving as host.
Fan voting is now underway for all categories at ESPYS.com. Once the show begins, voting for Best Team switches to Twitter and fans are directed to use the hashtag #ESPYSBestTeam with the team name. ESPN.com and Twitter votes will then be combined at the end of the show to determine the winner.
The team category features a tremendous field. Oklahoma is up against the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team, the San Francisco Giants, the University of Alabama football team, the Baltimore Ravens, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Miami Heat.
In the 20-year history of the ESPYs, only two college programs have won Best Team, though the last to do it was the Oklahoma football team in 2001 after winning the national championship.
Oklahoma was a perfect 10-0 in the NCAA tournament and outscored its opponents, 91-16, en route to winning its second national championship. Facing Tennessee in the championship series, OU claimed a dramatic game one victory with a 5-3, 12-inning come-from-behind win. In game two, Michelle Gascoigne struck out 12 while Keilani Ricketts drove in all the runs in a 4-0 victory.
The Sooners were ranked No. 1 by ESPN.com/USA Softball for 15 straight weeks to end the season, while the USA Today/NFCA poll put Oklahoma on top for the final 11 weeks. Six times this season OU was a unanimous No. 1, including the final polls.
The team led the nation in both earned run average (1.16) and runs scored per game (7.8), becoming the first team in DI history to do so. In addition, OU led the country in slugging percentage (.582) and winning percentage (.934).
For Best Female College Athlete, Ricketts faces Kara Cannizzaro of North Carolina lacrosse, Crystal Dunn of North Carolina soccer and Brittney Griner of Baylor basketball. Ricketts topped both Cannizzaro and Dunn to take the Honda Cup, given to the nation’s top female collegiate athlete, on Monday, while Griner is the defending winner of the award.
The two-time USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, Ricketts was 35-1 this season with a 1.23 earned run average and 350 strikeouts in 238.1 innings pitched. She posted the second most shutouts in the nation this year with 16 and ranked third in wins (35), fifth in hits allowed per seven innings (3.61), sixth in total strikeouts (350) and eighth in both ERA (1.23) and strikeouts per seven innings (10.3).
Additionally, Ricketts hit .379 at the plate with 15 home runs and 60 runs batted in. She slugged .725, got on base at a .534 clip and was a perfect 9-9 on stolen bases.
The last time Oklahoma was nominated for an ESPY came in 2009 when Sam Bradford and Blake Griffin were each in the running for Best Male College Athlete.