James H. "Jack" Gardner

Sports Illustrated once wrote that Jack Gardner “could win with an old maid on the post and four midgets.” Dubbed “The Fox” during his tenure at Utah, Gardner was an expert in fast break hoops and a promoter of fundamental basketball. He won nearly 70 percent of his games. While only a handful of coaches have taken more teams to the Final Four, Gardner was the first coach in history to lead two different schools to appearances in the Final Four twice each. He first led Kansas State to the Final Four in 1948 and 1951. Then, in 1961 and 1966, he again brought his Utah team, “the Runnin’ Redskins” to Final Four placements. Gardner also popularized basketball in the Pacific Northwest with his success at Utah. In 28 seasons of college basketball, Gardner experienced only three losing seasons and compiled ten 20-win campaigns.