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Can Gerry Glasco bring stability to Texas Tech’s softball team?


Chance and fate are often confused, as if something in the universe had decided the fate of two things that had nothing to do with each other and brought them together.

That could be said of Justus Perry. Last week, Perry made the 26-hour drive from Philadelphia – where she works as an assistant coach at Swarthmore College – to Lubbock to join the Hub City Adelitas, the newest member of Women’s Professional Fastpitch.

Perry was in town less than a week after signing with the Adelitas before the team played its first game in Floydada. To make matters even more interesting, life threw her another punch when she got a flat tire on the way to the debut contest.

MORE ABOUT RENTAL: Gerry Glasco from Louisiana becomes new softball coach at Texas Tech

It would have been more than understandable if, in all the chaos and game preparations, Perry had forgotten to call me back as we had agreed earlier in the day.

But Perry had a story to tell, memories of one of the first softball coaches she was drawn to when she was deciding on a college. It happened to be Gerry Glasco, who had been named head coach of the Texas Tech softball team just hours before a nail punctured Perry’s tire.

Perry recalled attending Glasco’s training camps during her time as assistant head coach at Georgia, where she and fellow coach Adelita Ciara Bryan played home run derbies with Glasco’s daughter, the late Gerri Ann. Perry almost chose Georgia because of Glasco, but ended up going to Auburn.

As luck would have it, Glasco landed at Auburn during Perry’s first year as an assistant head coach. Their time together was brief – Glasco took over as head coach at Louisiana the next year – but Perry’s memory of him is vivid.

“From the bottom of my heart,” Perry said, “he’s one of my favorite people in the world of softball. He has the biggest heart of any person I’ve ever met. And the crazy thing is, even though he’s a coach, he coaches like he is as a person, and you don’t find that very often.”

Perry said she appreciates Glasco’s honesty, how he “coaches like a father” and treats her and her teammates “like he loves them in all aspects of life.” Perhaps most importantly, Perry said, everything that comes out of Glasco’s mouth is exactly what he means.

“The feeling I had with him,” Perry said, “I couldn’t replicate with any other coach.”

During his introductory press conference on Thursday, Glasco said he has simply always been that kind of coach and that he plans to continue that at Texas Tech.

“I think one of my weaknesses as a coach is that I’m too transparent,” Glasco said. “I’ll tell you what I think, especially when I’ve messed something up, and I’ll tell you when we’re not getting it right, to the point that sometimes I have to keep my mouth shut. … Transparency and honesty are the backbone of all great things.”

These are two qualities that could do the Red Raiders good.

The last two appointments, Sami Ward and Craig Snider, each lasted only two years. Alanna Barraza, who signed under Adrian Gregory and served the last two terms, told me earlier this year that she wanted to know if what she was hearing from Snider was legitimate.

The “face of recruiting,” as Barraza put it, has outsmarted many players, coaches saying one thing and doing another behind the scenes – the Texas A&M baseball debacle being the latest example of such antics. Barraza felt Snider was here for the long haul and that she could believe in his message and his leadership.

Fortunately for Barraza, her eligibility had already expired when Snider dropped out of the race earlier this month.

Glasco said athletic director Kirby Hocutt made it clear during the search that he intended to hire someone who wanted to stay at Texas Tech, not someone who already had one foot out.

“It’s not just about taking the job and starting,” Glasco said, “it’s about taking the job and finishing it. And that’s what I’m committed to. That’s what I’m determined to do.”

More: Texas Tech Softball seeks new head coach after Craig Snider’s retirement

Perry’s greatest memory of Glasco’s demeanor revolves around his “bubbly, loving aura,” his love of the sport and his love for “everyone he comes in contact with.” Texas Tech’s softball team could use that love right now, and Perry is confident they have just the right man to impart it.

“I think he’s going to do a great job here,” Perry said. “I’m really excited to watch him.”

So is it a coincidence that Perry found her summer home in Lubbock the same week that a coach she admires was hired?

Or is it the fate of Glasco, who spent many years hunting quail in places like Jayton and Aspermont, and who, according to his own statement, applied for the technician position in 2014 and ended up in the Hub City at the same time as Perry?

In the interest of the program, one would hope that it is a little bit of both.

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