Jenny Gladding, a two-year letterwinner in the pitching circle for the Gators, is in her sixth season as an assistant coach, working primarily with the infielders. Gladding also helps with offensive decisions on the field as the Gators’ first base coach.
Since Gladding’s arrival the Gator defense has posted the top-six fielding percentages in Florida program history, highlighted by 2009’s .977 mark. In 2007, the team tallied a .975 percentage, in 2008, a .972 percentage and in 2010, a .970 average. In 2009, the Gators broke the record, registering a program-high .977, while setting the record for fewest errors in a season (43). With the defensive success, teams only managed 16 stolen bases against the Gators, another record low. In 2010, the Gators produced only 47 errors, the second fewest in program history.
Under Gladding’s tutelage, the 2012 Gator softball squad paced the Southeastern Conference in fielding percentage (.974), while registering the second-fewest errors (44) in Florida softball history. The Gators ranked 17th in the nation in fielding percentage, just four spots below 2011’s 13th NCAA ranking. A total of seven Florida student-athletes have picked up 13 SEC All-Defensive Team accolades under Gladding’s watch the past five seasons since the award started in 2008.
The 2008 putout total of 1,536 is second highest all-time and the 2007 total of 1,496 is third. The 2008 Gators also tallied the most chances in UF record books (2,232), tied for the fourth-best number of errors (63) and turned double plays (24). In 2007, Gladding helped the Gator defense record the most double plays (26) and the then-second fewest errors (55) (now fifth-fewest) in Florida history.
Gladding transferred to UF for the 2003 season after playing her first two years at Arizona. In just two years at Florida, she rewrote the Florida pitching record book, setting career records for opponent batting average, strikeouts per game and strikeouts looking. She finished her career just 35 strikeouts short of the school record. Gladding also set several single-season records, including earned run average, opponent batting average, strikeouts per game, win percentage, strikeouts and strikeouts looking. In addition to her stellar performance in the pitching circle, Gladding had a powerful bat and led the Gators with a .318 average in 2003. She set the school record with a 13-game hit streak from April 18 to May 3, 2003. She earned USA Softball and National Player of the Week Honors on April 22, 2003 for her performance against Tennessee, pitching a no-hitter against the Lady Vols and hitting the game-winning home run in the first game of the series and pitching a compete game and striking out nine in the final game.
Gladding earned All-Southeastern Conference Honors in 2003 and 2004 and All-Pac 10 honors in 2002. She earned NFCA All-Region honors both her sophomore season at Arizona and her junior season at Florida. She was also the last Gator and one of only three to pitch a perfect game, as she did so against Missouri on Feb. 7, 2004.
Gladding was a member of two College World Series teams at Arizona, and helped the Wildcats win the national title in 2001.
“We are very excited to have Jenny as part of our staff,” Walton said when Gladding was hired. “She is a tremendous young person with a lot of knowledge. Having someone on staff who played at Florida and is a Gator was a priority to us. We feel very fortunate to have her back with the program.”
A native of Palm City, Fla., Gladding graduated from Florida with a degree in criminology in 2004. She began her coaching career as a private instructor in Orlando. She accepted her first collegiate coaching position in the summer of 2005 as the head coach at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach. PBA is a Division II school in the National Christian College Athletic Association. She had four players named to the NCCAA All-Region team in 2006.
The Gladding File
2007-present - University of Florida, Assistant Coach
2006 - Palm Beach Atlantic University, Head Coach
2005 - Private Instructor, Orlando, Fla.
2003-04 - University of Florida, two year letterwinner
2001-02 - University of Arizona, two-year letterwinner
University of Florida, B.A. in criminology, 2004