What does it mean to have bold faith?
The OU Softball team recently won their third national championship in a row—their seventh one overall. But softball is more than a game for this team. The team has gotten national attention not only for their wins but also for their faith.
Whether it’s press conferences, interviews, or praying before the game, this team gives glory to God—win or lose. It wasn’t always like this. It started with one person who was willing to be bold in her faith: Coach Patty Gasso.
Coach Gasso was hired as the head softball coach for the University of Oklahoma in 1995. Early in her career, Gasso admits that she was shy about her faith yet she felt called to speak publicly about her faith.
When Gasso shared her testimony at my church in Norman one night, she said she didn’t know the repercussions if she publicly shared her faith, but she knew that softball was more than just winning. She also knew that if she couldn’t speak up about her faith, she couldn’t stay at OU. When she did open up about her faith, Gasso did receive backlash from some girls on the team who claimed she was favoring Christian teammates over others.
However, when Sarah Roberts, the chaplain, joined the team, she was a huge help and encouragement to Gasso. Sarah encouraged Patty in her faith and coaching and helped remove some pressure.
In an interview, Gasso said, “The Lord kind of woke me up and was like, ‘You’re doing this wrong. You’re not here to win games. You’re here to open the door—here to win souls. You open the door and let them in. I’ll take over from there.’ And then everything changed.”
That’s when OU started to win.
OU Softball has won their conference title 15 times, has attended the NCAA tournament 29 times, and now they have won the NCAA championship seven times.
Many of the softball players credited their strategy to their faith. In an interview after their seventh NCAA championship win, players Grace Lyons, Jayda Coleman, and Alyssa Brito said, “No matter the outcome, this isn’t our home. We have an eternity of joy.”
Jim Gasso, Patty’s husband who recently took the Head Coaching position at MACU, said when they first moved to Oklahoma they knew God was calling them there, but they didn’t exactly know why. Now they do know, and so does the rest of the world.
In an interview with the Tulsa World, DJ Gasso, her son who works for the University of Utah’s softball team, said, “When you look back on her tenure at OU, I think the biggest thing that she takes away is just the lives she’s affected. It’s how she was able to spread the love of God to others, not necessarily the championships that they’ve won.”
When Jesus left the earth, he commanded us to “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19).
As believers, we can be encouraged by Coach Gasso and the ministry she is doing for God’s kingdom at OU. Coach Gasso has left more than just trophies for OU Softball. God is using her to impact the lives of these young women and empower them to share their faith with the world.
Patty Gasso is living a life that exemplifies bold faith. She didn’t know the outcome of sharing her faith publicly, but she had the courage and shared anyways. Now she is one of the most influential coaches—not just on the pitch but off the pitch too.
So, where in your life can you step out in bold faith? When you step out in faith, God can do amazing things in and through you.
Read More About Coach Patty Gasso:
Watch Post-Championship Interview Clip:
Kali Gibson is the editor-in-chief for So We Speak and a copywriter for the Youversion Bible App.