JULY 24 SOFTBALL NEWS
JT Gasso Named OU Softball Assistant Coach
July 22, 2015
NORMAN – Former Oklahoma softball graduate assistant JT Gasso is returning to the program as the team’s assistant coach, OU head coach Patty Gasso announced Thursday. His primary responsibilities will be focused on working with OU’s outfielders and the Sooner offense.
“I am excited to bring JT back to the program he has grown up with, and I know he is ready and qualified to accept this challenge,” Patty Gasso said. “He is considered one of the hot new coaches on the softball scene with creative ideas and has a background in a variety of areas that will help our team reach new heights.
“He is a relentless recruiter and has a deep love and respect for our program. He brings a fresh and youthful energy to this program, and I am looking forward to this new era in OU Softball history.”
JT Gasso joins Oklahoma after spending one season as an assistant at Michigan State. While working with the Spartans, his primary responsibilities were focused on defensive play in the infield and hitting, while being heavily involved in recruiting and overall player development.
“I’m extremely excited and grateful for this opportunity,” said JT Gasso, who is Patty’s son. “I’ve grown up being a part of this program and have tremendous pride in it and in the direction it is going. I’m looking forward to contributing to the program’s history and its high level of success.
“I also want to thank Jacquie Joseph and Shelley Appelbaum for the opportunity at Michigan State. It was an experience I’m very proud of and moving on from that opportunity is hard, but I’m excited for what the future holds.”
While with the Spartans, he helped the program record its best offensive season since 2007. The team improved its win total by almost 60 percent from 2014 to 2015, while the offense improved greatly in nearly every offensive category.
Michigan State’s home run total grew by 90 percent, while the batting average jumped 60 points to represent the fifth best improvement in the country in that category. Additionally, the team’s slugging percentage went up over 100 points, while on-base percentage jumped almost 50 points.
Like the Spartans’ batting average growth, the team’s run production improved by over 90 percent from 2014 to 2015, and their amount of extra-base hits increased by over 70 percent.
Prior to Michigan State, Gasso was a part of a first-year coaching staff which helped guide Purdue to a spot in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals in 2014. The program placed five players on the All-Big Ten postseason teams and a program-record six Boilers earned All-Region honors.
Gasso spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma, where he was responsible for compiling scouting reports, game day and practice set up and assisting in hitting instruction and game planning for the team, including its 2013 national championship and 2012 national runner-up seasons. His coaching pedigree also includes time as a camp coach with national championship programs at LSU and UCLA, and at the IntenCity Sports Training Academy in Norman.
A collegiate baseball player at Eastern Oklahoma State and East Central University, Gasso has been a lead instructor for the Sooner Softball camps the last 10 years. He is certified as a level 1 coach in Crossfit and has trained various athletes, including those at IntenCity, for which he has been a hitting instructor and strength and conditioning coach since 2008. In his time as a private instructor, he has tutored five athletes who have gone on to play Division I softball.
In addition to his experience at Oklahoma and at IntenCity, the East Central University alum coached the Sulphur Orioles 18-and-under baseball team in 2010 and was the head instructor at the Chickasaw Nation softball camp in 2007.
Gasso holds an associate’s degree from Eastern Oklahoma State College, a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from East Central University and a master’s degree in administrative leadership from the University of Oklahoma.
MacKay Steps Down as OU Assistant Coach
July 16, 2015
NORMAN – University of Oklahoma softball assistant coach Tripp MacKay has stepped down after eight years with the program, head coach Patty Gasso announced Thursday.
“Tripp has played a very important part to the success of our program, and we are so appreciative of his work ethic, commitment and loyalty to the program,” Gasso said. “We’ve shared some great memories, and I will always be indebted to him for his service.”
“Tripp has an incredible opportunity to work in a position that feeds his passion and his strengths. It’s a great situation for his family and it makes perfect sense for him to start this new career path. We are excited for the MacKay family and thank them for giving their hearts to the Sooner Softball program for the last 8 years. We wish the MacKay family all the best.”
In his new capacity, MacKay will work for Scrapyard Sports in The Woodlands, Texas, as its Director of Player Development.
“I very much appreciate the time I’ve spent here with Oklahoma Softball,” MacKay said. “It was a great experience to be a part of one of the top programs in the nation. I have been given a great opportunity as the Director of Player Development for Scrap Yard Sports in the Houston Area. This will allow me to spend more time with my family.
“I want to thank Coach Gasso for the opportunity and wish Oklahoma Softball the best of luck in the future.”
Responsible for working with OU’s outfielders and the Sooners offense, MacKay helped Oklahoma reach the postseason in all eight of his seasons on staff, including winning the 2013 National Championship. Along the way, the team captured five Big 12 regular season titles (2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and two conference tournament championships (2007 and 2010).
Following the Sooners’ national title in 2013, MacKay and the OU coaches were named the NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year. He has also been a part of the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 NFCA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year.
Under his tutelage, Lauren Chamberlain set the all-time NCAA home run record with 95 career homers and also broke the NCAA’s career slugging percentage with a .960 mark.
In addition, OU set program single-season records for batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs scored, home runs and walks with MacKay as an assistant.
Megan Ciolli Bartlett (’05) To Lead Ball State SoftballTwo-time Notre Dame softball
All-American (’04-’05) earns first Division I head coaching opportunity NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American and 2005 University of Notre Dame softball team captain Megan Ciolli Bartlett (’05) was named head coach of the Ball State University softball program on Wednesday.
A veteran NCAA assistant coach with nine years of experience at four different institutions, Ciolli Bartlett replaces 2014 Mid-American Conference (MAC) Coach of the Year Tyra Perry. Perry recently accepted the head coaching position at the University of Illinois after leading Ball State to an NCAA South Bend Regional appearance at Melissa Cook Stadium in May.
Ciolli Bartlett is the latest former Notre Dame softball team captain to become a collegiate head coach, joining a list that includes Ruth Kmak (’92) at the University of Chicago and Christy Connoyer (’94) at Saint Louis University. “I am incredibly honored to be named the next head coach at Ball State University,” Ciolli Bartlett said to BallStateSports.com. “I would like to thank (director of athletics) Mark Sandy, (senior woman administrator) Dr. Karin Lee and (deputy director of athletics) Pat Quinn for this exciting opportunity.
The softball program at Ball State already has a winning culture in place. I look forward to adding to the tradition of Mid-American Conference championships, regional berths and, eventually, a trip to a super regional and the Women’s College World Series. Upon my arrival on campus I was blown away. Everything is first class; the education, the administration and the facilities. The expectation of excellence is second to none. I cannot wait to meet the current team and get started.”
Under her maiden name Megan Ciolli, she was a four-time monogram winner as an outfielder at Notre Dame from 2002-05, earning NFCA All-America third team accolades in both 2004 and 2005. Also selected as the 2004 BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year, Ciolli Bartlett graduated as the sixth player in program history to be named a two-time NFCA All-American, a mark that has since been equaled and surpassed by three-time All-America selection Emilee Koerner (’15). Ciolli Bartlett remains Notre Dame’s all-time leader in overall hits (284) and stolen bases in an individual season (33), and is tied with Jenna Simon (’15) for the top spot with 76 career steals. Ciolli Bartlett (Terre Haute, 2005) and Simon (Granger, 2015) are two of only three Indiana natives (Jenny Kriech, Indianapolis, 2002) to serve as team captains in Notre Dame softball history. A 2005 Notre Dame graduate with a degree in business administration,
Ciolli Bartlett earned a master’s degree in business administration in 2007 and later a juris doctor from Northern Illinois University in 2012, and became a licensed attorney in Illinois.
“I’m so proud of Megan,” Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf, who began her tenure as Irish head coach during Ciolli Bartlett’s freshman season in 2002, said. “She has completely prepared herself in deciding what to do for her career. She got her MBA, she got a law degree, and she chose to get into coaching. The great thing about Megan is whatever she chooses to do she is always very good at it. “She is one of the best up-and-coming coaches in our profession, she’s a competitor, and she has great experience,” Gumpf added. “Megan has worked with some great coaches around the country and has impeccable character. She knows how to do things right, and she will do them well.”
Ciolli Bartlett takes over as head coach in Muncie after spending the 2015 season as a member of the coaching staff at Purdue University, helping guide the Boilermakers to a 31-25 record. Under Ciolli Bartlett’s tutelage, senior infielder Ashley Burkhardt earned NFCA Midwest all-region first team accolades after batting .393 with 11 home runs, 48 RBI, 28 stolen bases and 43 runs scored in her final season at Purdue. Prior to arriving in West Lafayette,
Ciolli Bartlett served as a volunteer assistant coach at DePaul University under NFCA Hall of Fame coach Eugene Lenti during the 2014 campaign. The Blue Demons logged a 44-11 record that season, capturing BIG EAST Conference regular-season and tournament championships before earning a berth to the 2014 NCAA Lexington (Kentucky) Regional.
Ciolli Bartlett broke into the softball coaching ranks full-time as an assistant coach at Northern Illinois from 2007-12, where she worked as recruiting, offensive and camp coordinator for the Huskies. She also instructed both the infielders and outfielders during her NIU tenure, which featured a variety of program records established along with numerous conference and all-region honors earned. After graduating from Notre Dame, Ciolli Bartlett spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Loyola University Chicago from 2005-07. The Ramblers captured the 2007 Horizon League regular-season championship with Ciolli Bartlett on staff, and the Loyola coaches earned Horizon League Coaching Staff of the Year accolades that season.
Following her playing career with the Irish, Ciolli Bartlett also spent two seasons with the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league in 2005 and 2006. The Bandits claimed regular-season league championships in both years, and Ciolli Bartlett is believed to be the only professional championship-winning player with Notre Dame softball ties. “It really shows that hard work pays off,” Gumpf said. “When you make a decision to go for something and you go at it with everything you’ve got, you will make things happen. Megan is a perfect example of that. She decided she was going to stick with coaching and she gave it everything she had, and she has been successful with it. She’s a great decision maker, and if you can make good, strong decisions and go after things wholeheartedly, good things will happen.” The 2016 Ball State team is expected to return 13 players from last season’s roster that led the Cardinals to a 34-25 record, the 2015 MAC tournament championship and the third NCAA Regional berth (1998, 2010 and 2015) in program history. “How ironic that Ball State was just at our place for the regional tournament last season, and now Megan is going to be coaching that team,” Gumpf said. “With her as the coach, I wouldn’t be surprised if we begin seeing them all the time at NCAA Regionals. She knows how to win and there is no intimidation factor with her. Even though she is a young head coach, she will let nothing stop her.”
PITCHERS NEEDED From: Sandy Montgomery <email@example.com>
Subject: available 2015 pitchers/transfer
Hi – Just wondering if you know of any pitchers
still out there for this fall. A Juco willing to leave, Division 1 transfer or
an incoming senior that is a qualifier.
Any help you have would be greatly
Sandy – SIU Edwardsville