J.T. Gasso, who has spent the last three years with the University of Oklahoma softball program, joined the Purdue softball staff on July 19, 2013. Gasso will work with all aspects of the Boilermaker program, specializing in defensive instruction.
"We have spoken with a lot of colleagues whom we respect and J.T.'s name kept coming up," head coach Kim Schuette said. "He has the energy, communication skills, determination to win and work ethic we were looking for to complete our staff. He is a coach's kid who has grown up around the game, constantly learning and building experience. I truly value loyalty and hard work and want to surround myself with good, quality people who do the right thing all of the time and who also love to coach, teach and inspire young athletes ... we have found that in J.T."
A collegiate baseball player at Eastern Oklahoma State and East Central University, Gasso has spent the past two 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, Okla.
"I am really happy to get the opportunity to coach with Coach Schuette and Coach Dorey," Gasso said. "Coming to Purdue was an easy decision for me to make, because their coaching philosophy and the family atmosphere surrounding the program matches up with what I am used to at Oklahoma. I want to thank the coaches at OU who have helped me get to this point in my career. Purdue has the potential to be a national contender and I am ready to help the team make a big impact on the national and conference scenes."
NFCA Hall of Fame coach Sue Enquist, who was a part of 11 national championships during her time at UCLA, was one of many who spoke highly of Gasso.
"If I could hire anyone in the country, I would hire J.T.," Enquist said. "He has a really clear vision as well as knowledge and understanding of the whole picture of coaching and success. J.T. is a worker bee who will positively influence and impact your program and come in ready to go."
Oklahoma associate head coach Melissa Lombardi also had high praise for Gasso.
"J.T. is extremely loyal and one you can depend on," Lombardi said. "He's my `go-to' and knows the game very, very well. He's a strategist and an excellent teacher who will bring a lot to the table right away."
Gasso has been a lead instructor for the Sooner Softball camps the last eight years. He is certified as a level 1 coach in Crossfit and has trained various athletes to reach their maximum potential in strength and conditioning, including those at the IntenCity Sports Training Academy, for which he has been a hitting instructor and strength and conditioning coach since 2008. In 2012, Gasso also coached an 18-and-under high school baseball travel ball team for IntenCity.
Gasso comes naturally to coaching as his mother, Patty, is in her 20th season as the head softball coach at Oklahoma. In addition to his experience at Oklahoma and at the IntenCity Academy, 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.