As Kenny Gajewski looks out over his softball program the changes are obvious.
Both on and off the field.
Upgrading his Cowgirls record each season, their uniforms and facilities by embracing the program's past.
“I wanted these kids to understand why I came back here,” Gajewski said. “I came here because history was already here. Tradition was already here. This is why we have all these nice things. It’s from alumni and the people before you who really laid the groundwork to have this.”
“He’s come in and he’s completely changed the culture,” Brandi Needham said. “Looking around at our facilities, like our team room, everything that we have right now he’s really, like, been big on helping us in any way that he can. It’s just really awesome knowing that you have someone like that who’s on your side, and it makes us play even harder for him.”
Speaking of the past and sides.
Gajewski was once on OU’s as a baseball player and employee, but now he only backs the orange and black.
“He’s not ashamed at all, and he shouldn’t be,” Vanessa Shippy said. “I mean he won a national championship there. I think coming from there has made it easier. They’re not as scary, OU, he went there, so it’s nothing. We gave him a hard time in the beginning, but now I think it’s actually really helped us.”
“I don’t feel anything anymore,” Gajewski said. “It was a little awkward at first. Did I ever think I would be at OSU? There’s now way I would have ever have thought that. But when this job became available, and was presented to me it was a no brainer. It was easy to say yes.”
Speaking of Gajewski’s ties to the Sooners and making changes to the Pokes’ program, he also alters how his Cowgirls view themselves.
He had an OU teammate share his hard candy outlook, with jolly ranchers, meaning tough on the outside and inside.
“I just felt like it’s who we have got to be here,” Gajewski said. “We know the history here. We’ve had our share of heartache here, but people just continue to get up. They get chipped. They crack, but they don’t melt. They just go, and they just get back up and get stronger. So I think it’s the right message for us."