Friday July 13, 2012Kenny Gajewski Joins Florida Softball Coaching Staff
A member of the 1994 Oklahoma baseball national championship team and former director of Tennessee baseball operations, Kenny Gajewski will head to Gainesville to join the University of Florida softball coaching staff, announced by Gator head coach Tim Walton Friday.
Gajewski will step into the role of assistant coach for Florida, joining Walton and assistant coach Jennifer Rocha on the Gators’ coaching staff, four-times the NFCA Southeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year, and will replace the departed Jenny Gladding, who is pursuing a career in education.
“We’re so grateful for the past six years that Jenny has spent in Gainesville as a key component to our coaching staff,” Walton said. “As a former Gator herself, Jenny’s leadership and guidance helped tutor so many of our athletes. We wish her nothing but the best as she starts a new chapter in her life.”
Gajewski (pronounced `GUY'-eh-ski'), comes to Florida having served as the director of baseball operations at Tennessee the past year 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.
“I have known Kenny for 22 years as a friend and colleague and I am thrilled to bring someone of Kenny’s caliber on board with Jen (Rocha) and myself to complete our coaching staff,” Walton said. “With Kenny comes an unprecedented amount of enthusiasm, passion and energy that will positively impact our players and program. We share the same vision for the future of Florida softball and there’s no one better to help assist with those goals and the overall development of our student-athletes.”
“I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the Florida family,” Gajewski said. “Having known Tim as long as I have, I know what he’s all about as a coach, educator, mentor and family man – that’s what I want to be a part of at UF. I can’t wait to get started at Florida and help build upon the foundation of tremendous success that Tim, Jen and Jenny have already established with the softball program. My family and I have been extremely fortunate with the opportunities we’ve had the past couple of years. We are excited to set roots in Gainesville and we’re looking forward to being Gators for a long time.”
Walton and Gajewski cross paths on the diamond for the third time after playing baseball together at Cerritos Junior College under Serrano, then later for Oklahoma as the duo helped guide the Sooners on their storied ’94 championship run. Gajewski spent time at both Cerritos and Cal State Dominquez Hills before transferring to Oklahoma. Likewise, Rocha also shares the Oklahoma connection, having donned the Sooner uniform from 1996-98.
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 business - 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 (6), a daughter, Logan (1).