Softball: Glasco elated over his future at UL + Video Interview of Coach Glasco & Darren
Kevin Foote, The Advertiser, Nov. 23, 2017
When Gerry Glasco met last Friday’s noon deadline to accept the position as UL’s next head softball coach, he knew he had some work to do.
No, not teaching hitters how to hit home runs.
He had to convince an angry and upset bunch of Ragin’ Cajuns softball players that the program was still viable as a national championship contender after the firing of Michael Lotief on Nov. 1.
After a few days of meeting with the team and holding two scrimmages with his new roster, Glasco is convinced the worst-case scenarios about heavy transfers will end up being way off base.
“I was worried when I got here,” he said. “But not now. We’re going to be fine.”
Obviously, that’s his impression after his initial contact with his new team. He knows it’s still possible, but filling in the understandable blanks helped.“They just wanted to know that they’re going to be coached well,” Glasco said. “They were looking for a leader and guidance.
“I think there was people putting things in their head that they were going to hire a D-II coach or somebody who hadn’t been there (high level). Once they found out they had a coach who could win at the highest level, they were fine.”
According to Glasco, though, don’t mistake that confidence for him not being sympathetic to the emotional roller coaster the team had been through in recent months.
He was especially sensitive toward the veteran players.
“It’s been a really tough transition for them,” he said. “We’re talking about young women at a critical point in their lives. Losing a coach and mentor they look up to and around every day is tough.
“Every day of a college student-athlete’s life, the most important person in their life is their head coach. They’re going to have emotions.”
Even more, Glasco said he’s sure every player on the team has thought about leaving
“But they also have to think about the tremendous fans, the support and the university and why they chose to come here in the first place,” Glasco said. “We just have to give them time and space to think about all of those things.”
Once the dust settles on that front, though, it’ll be time for softball issues.
In that way, early indications are Glasco may not be a great deal different from what Lotief was — at least not eventually.
The former hitting coach at Georgia and Texas A&M described himself as “an in-your-face coach” who will be “getting after them” to prepare them for the kind of mental toughness it takes to make a run at the Women’s College World Series.
“I’m going to get after them, but now it is not the time,” he said. “Right now, it’s time to listen, hear and observe and study. Right now, it’s time for observing and trying to feel what they need from me.”
Lotief has always been known for having a unique method of teaching hitting. Glasco said the transition in teaching hitting will be a piece of cake.
“(Ex-Cajun All-American) Nerissa Myers called me and said, ‘You’re the one person that hits like Mike Lotief. Your kids hit the same way,’” said Glasco, who coached Myers in the NPF professional league. My hitting system is exactly the same. For me, the transition will be the easier transition in a world.”
Furthermore, Glasco said any reservations about being able to recruit at UL like he did in the SEC will be unfounded as well.
In fact, Glasco is convinced he’ll be a more effective recruiter with the Cajuns.
“I’ve got like 400 emails and texts form players wanting to come here on my phone in four days,” he said. “I don’t think I’m going to have any trouble recruiting at all. I think this may be the easiest place I’ve ever recruited to.”
His logic in saying that is the goal of most hitting prospects is to hit more than 20 home runs at the college game.
“If you want to put up All-American numbers, it’s far easier to do that here than it would be in the SEC,” he said. “Hitters want to hit home runs. If I hit over 20 home runs, I’m going to be a first-team All-American. It’s easier to hit 20 home runs here by far. I can sell stuff like that.”
Glasco is also elated about the facilities at Lamson Park. At Texas A&M, he had two outdoor cages and two indoor cages at Georgia.
At UL, he’s got 12 indoor cages.
“We’ll be able to train at the highest level here,” Glasco said. “The kids will love that.”
Glasco also isn’t concerned about attracting top-notch pitchers.
“We’re going to bring in great pitching coaches and we’re going to develop pitchers just like we develop hitters,” said Glasco, who said his staff has been selected and will be in town Monday.
“Next week, when you hear my pitching coaches, you’re going to understand what I’m saying. They know they’ll have the offensive support here to do whatever we need to do. It’ll be easy to get a great pitcher here as well.”
As he continues to look forward, Glasco said that means in every way. UL’s new coach said he knows nothing about the details of Lotief’s firing and investigation and doesn’t want to.
“I actually I still haven’t read any of the articles,” he said. “I don’t want to know. Somebody asked me if I wanted to know about the investigation and I said, ’What good would that do me?’
“My focus on the girls. I don’t have 15 minutes to worry about what happened last year.”
In other words, a few days in Lafayette has convinced Glasco that former UL All-American Alyson Habetz gave him great advice when encouraging him to accept the position.
“Alyson Habetz convinced me that these young ladies needed what I had,” Glasco said. “She kept calling me and saying, ‘You’ll fit in like a glove in that town.’ The things I like, like hunting, fishing the outdoors. I like the South.
“Most of all, she convinced me that the young ladies needed a leader. She challenged me in a way that I almost had to accept that challenge.”
Athletic Network Footnote by Dr. Ed Dugas.