- Kenny Gajewski
Assistant Coach – Third Season
- Oklahoma ‘94
A member of the 1994 Oklahoma baseball national championship team alongside Florida head coach Tim Walton, Gajewski (pronounced `GUY’-ehh-ski’) joined Walton and the Gator softball staff for the 2012-13 season, and he has made an instant impact for the Orange and Blue. The Gators have advanced to the Women’s College World Series in both of Gajewski’s years, capturing the program’s first national championship in 2014.
In his first two seasons, Gajewski has tutored the Florida defense to the top two fielding percentages in school history (2013 - .979, school record; 2014 - .978), thanks in part to the fewest errors in Gator softball history in each season (40).
In 2014, the Orange and Blue posted the second-best fielding clip in the nation on the way to a 55-12 record, a 15-9 mark in the Southeastern Conference and their first national title. Florida’s .978 fielding percentage placed second in the SEC in Gajewski’s second campaign. During the championship season, the Gators turned a program-record 28 double plays, with sophomore first baseman Taylor Schwarz having a hand in a school-record 24. Nearly a third of the Gators’ two-out plays (nine) came during postseason play, including a WCWS-record seven during their five-game run in Oklahoma City. Schwarz led the way as the Gators grabbed four of the six infield spots on the SEC All-Defensive Team, which also featured senior pitcher Hannah Rogers, sophomore second baseman Kelsey Stewart and senior third baseman Stephanie Tofft.
Florida finished seventh nationally in winning percentage (.821) during Gajewski’s second year in Gainesville, while ranking third in fielding percentage (.978), third in on-base percentage (.439), fourth in scoring (6.91 runs per game), seventh in home runs per game (1.33), seventh in slugging percentage (.528) and 19th in stolen bases per game (1.72). The Gators led the SEC in 13 statistical categories in 2014, including wins (55), on-base percentage, runs scored (463), RBI (433), total bases (913), walks (321), steals (116), ERA (1.96) and opposing batting average (.196).
UF’s 2013 fielding percentage was the fourth-best in the country as the Gators worked their way to a nation-best 58-9 record, including 18-6 in the SEC, en route to the 2013 SEC regular season and tournament titles and eventually to their fifth WCWS appearance in six seasons. Florida’s .979 fielding mark ranked second in the SEC in 2013. UF made just eight errors on the entire season at the corners, as Schwarz was error-free throughout the regular season and finished her first campaign with a .995 fielding percentage – third-best for a Gator freshman. Stephanie Tofft had just six mishaps at the hot corner in 197 chances, turning in an impressive season after transferring to Florida from Northern Illinois. Tofft set a single-game school record for most assists (10) against South Carolina and ranked third in the SEC with 133 assists her first season as a Gator.
In Gajewski’s first season at UF, the Orange and Blue ranked second in the country in win-loss percentage (.866), fourth in fielding percentage (.979), seventh in triples per game (0.33), 11th in both ERA (1.83) and scoring (6.46) and 14th in the NCAA with 1.25 home runs per game. Florida led the SEC in 14 categories in 2013, including wins (58), runs (433), walks (332) and ERA (1.83).
Prior to Florida, Gajewski served as the director of baseball operations at Tennessee in 2011-12 under first-year head coach Dave Serrano. In addition to managing the overall operations of the Volunteer baseball team, Gajewski was UT’s camp manager, while also overseeing all student managers and serving as an academic liaison to the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center to ensure the success of the baseball student-athletes in the classroom.
Walton and Gajewski played collegiate baseball together at Cerritos Junior College under Serrano, then later for Oklahoma as the duo helped guide the Sooners on their ’94 championship run. Gajewski spent time at both Cerritos and Cal State Dominquez Hills before transferring to Oklahoma.
Following his playing days, Gajewski served as a graduate assistant for the Sooners in 1995 and as a volunteer assistant at Kansas State in 1996. He then returned to OU as the university’s athletic turf and maintenance director in 1997. In that role, Gajewski was responsible for maintaining all of the athletic fields and outdoor facilities while supervising a crew of seven full-time grounds workers and five full-time maintenance workers.
In 2001, the field at OU’s L. Dale Mitchell Park was named the Beam Clay Baseball Diamond of the Year. That same season, the OU Softball Complex was presented the Field Maintenance Award by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and TURFACE sports field products. Since 2007, Gajewski has been the owner and operator of three Norman, Okla.-based turf businesses - Champions Athletic Turf (athletic field renovation), Sooner Curb and Border (decorative concrete) and Ameriturf MidSouth (synthetic turf).
A native of Los Alamitos, Calif., Gajewski married the former Kristen Clifford of Oklahoma City in January 2002. The couple has a son, Preston (8), and daughter, Logan (3).
THE GAJEWSKI FILE