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A Leader Worth Following

Published on May 01, 2018

by Nate Taylor
FCA staff writer

This story appears in FCA Magazine’s May/June 2018 issue.

One of my favorite aspects of my reporting for this issue’s cover story was asking everyone I interviewed the same question: “What’s your favorite Patty Gasso story?” The question drew the same reaction — full of excitement. And through it, I learned so much about Gasso.

Falepolima Aviu, a junior first baseman, reminisced on Gasso dancing in front of the team to keep everyone loose during a rain delay in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

Hannah Sparks, a senior catcher, recalled the start of last season when Gasso gave every player a bracelet with the phrase “Championship Mindset” imprinted on it — only to repossess the bracelets in the middle of the season because of the team’s inconsistent performance. A few weeks later, after Oklahoma swept Iowa State in late March, Gasso entered the locker room and, with pure joy, returned the bracelets by throwing them in the air to celebrate the Sooners’ improvement.

After all the interviews, I understood what made Gasso such as successful leader: how she guides women with integrity by boldly sharing that God created them for more than their athletic gifts.

“I love watching athletes learn, listen, work and get better,” Gasso told me. “I love that process.”

I loved learning and writing about Gasso’s Sooners, a team and a leader who inspire one another to lean into God for success on the field and, more importantly, off it


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