NORMAN — University of Oklahoma head softball coach Patty Gasso announced Wednesday the hiring of Jennifer Rocha as the program’s associate head coach and pitching coach.
Once a student-athlete (1996-98) and graduate assistant (1999-2001) for the Sooners, the former Jennifer Jaime returns to Oklahoma after most recently spending 13 years at Florida.
“I am humbled by the invitation to return to my alma mater and join the accomplished program at the University of Oklahoma,” Rocha said. “I’m excited about being a part of the culture of excellence built by Joe Castiglione and contributing to the championship tradition developed and sustained by Coach (Patty) Gasso and Coach JT Gasso.”
Rocha began at Florida in 2006 as an assistant coach and was elevated to associate head coach after the 2017 season. During her tenure, the Gators won two NCAA titles (2014, 2015) and made nine Women’s College World Series appearances (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018). Additionally, Florida claimed seven SEC regular season titles (2008, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) and four SEC Tournament tiles (2008, 2009, 2013, 2018) with Rocha on staff.
Leading the Gators’ pitching staff, Rocha has coached seven All-Americans. Florida has led the nation in combined ERA in four of the last 10 seasons.
In 2015, Rocha was named NFCA Assistant Coach of the Year. She was part of five NFCA Southeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year selections and the 2015 NFCA DI National Coaching Staff of the Year.
“First and foremost, Jen is a high quality person who fits the values of our program,” Gasso said. “She understands the foundation on which we’re built and embraces our approach. She also happens to be one of the finest pitching coaches in the country.
“Based on her record of championship success, the softball community recognizes her as one of the premier coaches in the sport,” Gasso continued. “I am thrilled that she is joining us and certain that our future is very bright with her on our staff. Jen and her husband Paul are Sooner alumni and we are excited to bring them ‘home’ along with their baby daughter Eliana.”
Prior to her time at Florida, Rocha was an assistant coach at Wichita State University from 2003-05. She was an assistant at Oregon for one year before joining the Shockers.
Beginning her playing career at Long Beach City College in 1995, Rocha transferred to Oklahoma in 1996 and was a three-year letterwinner. She finished her Sooner career with a 43-17 record (.721) and a 1.46 ERA.
Rocha played professionally for the Virginia Roadsters in the Women’s Professional Softball League in 1998 before returning to Oklahoma as a graduate assistant coach from 1999-2001. Overall, Rocha was part of six straight NCAA Regional appearances with the Sooners, three Big 12 regular season crowns, two Big 12 Tournament titles, two WCWS appearances and one national championship.
Rocha earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from OU in 1999 and a Master of Arts in human relations in 2001. She married Paul Rocha in November 2006, and the couple has one daughter, Eliana.
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