James H. "Jack" Gardner

Enshrined 1984
Texico, New Mexico
March 29, 1910 - April 10, 2000


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 is the only coach in history to have led two different schools to placements in the Final Four twice each. He first led Kansas State to placements in 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.

Career Highlights

National Coach of the Year, 1970
Won three Big Seven titles at Kansas State
Won five Skyline Conference titles at Utah
Coached NABC East-West All-Star, 1953, 1960, 1964