When coaching matters…
As a pretty good player that became a pretty decent coach, I can tell you from experience that coaching matters…I love baseball and/or softball where smarts matter. Out coaching the other guy can be very gratifying.
The OU baseball/softball tandem of coaches perfectly illuminates the importance of coaching in these sports. As I noted in an earlier blog, OU baseball coach Pete Hughes led with his heart by playing part time player and automatic out Kyler Murray against Texas.
That loss sent the Sooners into a tail spin that has produced ten losses in the last 12 games. The baseball team went from a #9 ranking and a regional host to being a bottom feeder team in the Big 12 Conference.
The antithesis of Pete Hughes is OU softball coach Patti Gasso. Gasso always does what is best for her team, regardless of how her moves can upset a player or a parent. She never shows favorites. Players either perform or they are shown the door.
Last season, the Missouri and Oklahoma players of the year failed to get ‘er done as Paige Parker’s backup and both are now pitching in the B league.
Taking their place is the other Paige (Lowery) who will now get more innings as she develops into a solid backup for Parker. Never resting on her laurels, Patti Gasso has pitchers committed far into the future. She has pitchers still pitching in junior high lined up to become future Sooners.
While I love the speed of the softball game, I also love college baseball and would love to see OU good again. At this point, I am not sure Pete Hughes is the answer.
Thankfully for Sooner fans, as baseball remains in limbo, Patti Gasso continues to fire out College World Series contenders. After a slow start the Sooners have won 18 of 19 and are poised for another run at the series. Can you imagine Patti Gasso jeopardizing this momentumm by playing favorites? Not likely.
The good news is that Patti Gasso’s office is right down the hall from Pete Hughes. Possibly, she can stop by some day and give Pete a quick tutorial on how to win championships.