The Oklahoma State softball team has added John Bargfeldt as the program’s new pitching coach, head coach Kenny Gajewski announced Friday.
“Coach Bargfeldt brings a tremendous amount of experience with him and he will not only help our student-athletes improve, but also help our coaching staff continue to improve,” Gajewski said. “I am excited to add somebody with John’s caliber of experience to our staff. He is regarded as one of the top pitching coaches in the country and will be an important piece in helping Oklahoma State continue to grow as one of the top teams in the country moving forward.”
Bargfeldt spent the past 14 seasons as the head coach at the University of Tulsa, where he built TU into a nationally-prominent program and one of the premier teams in the American Athletic Conference.
During his time on the east side of the state, Bargfeldt won a conference title (regular season and tournament) in eight of his 14 seasons, totaling 13 league championships and 11 NCAA Regional appearances. Bargfeldt owns the most wins and highest winning percentage in school history and was the program’s longest-tenured head coach.
The Golden Hurricane had a winning record in each of his 14 seasons, and he was the only coach in TU history to post at least four winning seasons. Bargfeldt compiled a career record of 535-270-1 (.664) and won at least 40 games six times.
During his stint as coach, he helped develop six All-Americans, 68 all-conference players, 37 first-team honorees and 27 NFCA All-Region selections. In addition, the Golden Hurricane produced 20 C-USA Academic Medalists, 12 C-USA All-Academic Team members, four CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and six Academic All-District student-athletes under Bargfeldt’s watch.
Bargfeldt has been praised nationally for his success coaching pitchers throughout his tenure at Tulsa.
Recently, he has assisted heavily in the development of four-year starter Emily Watson, who was a thorn in the side of the nation’s top batters throughout her career and was a second-team All-American in 2017 as a junior. Bargfeldt also worked with freshman Chenise Delce last season, coaching the youngster to a 15-6 record in 26 appearances. Delce made 23 starts, tossed 10 complete games, struck out 124 batters and posted a 1.63 ERA in 141.2 innings pitched during her first collegiate season.
He also coached three-time NFCA All-American Aimee Creger during her historic career at Tulsa.
“John is one of the best pitching coaches in the country and we – along with the rest of the country - have experienced that firsthand while competing against his teams in recent years,” Gajewski said. “The resume he has built speaks for itself and I’m excited to have a coach of his caliber join our staff here in Stillwater.”
Prior to joining the Golden Hurricane, Bargfeldt was an assistant coach at Georgia Tech for the 2004 season. He worked primarily with the pitchers and catchers, served as the bench coach and threw batting practice for the Yellow Jackets. He helped Tech post a 49-17 record, make an NCAA Regional appearance and was instrumental in the success of third-team All-American Jessica Sallinger, who broke 15 school records and finished fourth nationally with a 0.97 earned run average that seasons.
From 1980-82, Bargfeldt was an assistant baseball coach at Anderson University in Anderson, Ind., where he served as the pitching and hitting coach. He completed his bachelor’s degree in 1981 while coaching at Anderson.
As a student-athlete himself, Bargfeldt was an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American in football and baseball. He was drafted in the 31st round of the 1977 Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs.
Bargfeldt is a former ASA National Player Representative, and was also a member of the ASA National Board of Directors (2000-04). He served on the Men’s National Team Selection Committee during that time as well. As a member of the board, he assisted with the selection of the coaching staff and the national team members. The 2002 team won the program’s first Pan-American Qualifier Gold Medal.
As a member of the ASA’s Men’s Fast Pitch national team in 1991, Bargfeldt won a silver med at the Pan American Games as the starting shortstop. In 1993, he was on the gold medal-winning team at the U.S. Sports Festival. He was also a five-time ASA Men’s Fastpitch All-American.
Bargfeldt and his wife, Barbara, have three children: Kenny, Alexya and Jeb.