Jack Gardner
Jack Gardner KSU.jpg
Gardner from the 1949 Royal Purple
Biographical details
Born(1910-03-29)March 29, 1910
Texico, New Mexico
DiedApril 9, 2000(2000-04-09) (aged 90)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1939–1942Kansas State
1946–1953Kansas State
Head coaching record
Overall486–235 (.674)
Accomplishments and honors
3 Big Six/Seven (1948, 1950, 1951)
4 Skyline (1955, 1956, 1959, 1962)
WAC (1966)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1984
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

James H. Gardner (March 29, 1910 – April 9, 2000) was an American college basketball coach, known for his tenures as the head coach at Kansas State University and the University of Utah. He is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.[1][2]

Born in Texico, New Mexico, Gardner was raised in southern California, and was a four-sport athlete in high school at Redlands. A graduate of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, he was the captain of the Trojan basketball team and led the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) in scoring.[1] Gardner coached at Kansas State from 1939 to 1942 and 1946 to 1953, compiling a 147–81 record with the Wildcats, and thereafter coaching at Utah from 1953 to 1971, compiling a 339–154 record.[3][4] His career college record was 486–235 (.674).

In his second stint at Kansas State, following World War II, Gardner's teams won three conference crowns and captured two Big Eight Holiday Tournament championships. His 1950–51 team finished 25–4 and lost in the finals of the NCAA tournament to the University of Kentucky. That team was arguably the best in K-State history, and one of two that reached the Final Four during his tenure (the other was in 1948). He had six All-Americans at Kansas State, including Ernie Barrett.

Gardner left Manhattan, Kansas, in 1953 to take over the head coaching reins at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he remained for 18 years.[3] He led the Utes to six appearances in the NCAA Tournament and two Final Four appearances (1961 & 1966). To date, Gardner remains one of only three coaches to twice lead two different programs to the Final Four, along with Roy Williams and Rick Pitino, and won eight conference titles. Between 1959 and 1962, his teams compiled a 72–14 (.837) record; Gardner was often referred to as "The Fox" and known for his fast-break style, putting the "run" into the "Runnin' Utes."[2] He had five All-Americans at Utah, including Billy "The Hill" McGill.[1]

Gardner is a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as well as ten other Halls of Fame. He was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 and is also a member of the Southern Utah Hall of Fame, Utah All-Sports Hall of Fame, State of Utah Basketball Hall of Fame, Helms Foundation Hall of Fame, Kansas State University Hall of Fame, Crimson Club (University of Utah), Modesto Junior College Hall of Fame, Redlands High School Hall of Fame, and College Basketball Hall of Fame. He was also the recipient of the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Golden Anniversary Award.

Gardner worked as a consultant for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1979 (when the team moved from New Orleans) until 1995. He is credited with discovering point guard John Stockton from Gonzaga University while working for the Jazz.[5]

Gardner died at age 90 in 2000 in Salt Lake City.[1]

Head coaching record

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Kansas State Wildcats (Big Six Conference) (1939–1942)
1939–40 Kansas State 6–12 2–8 T–4th
1940–41 Kansas State 6–12 3–7 5th
1941–42 Kansas State 8–10 3–7 5th
Kansas State Wildcats (Big Six / Big Seven Conference) (1946–1953)
1946–47 Kansas State 14–10 3–7 T–5th
1947–48 Kansas State 22–6 9–3 1st NCAA Final Four
1948–49 Kansas State 13–11 8–4 3rd
1949–50 Kansas State 17–7 8–4 T–1st
1950–51 Kansas State 25–4 11–1 1st NCAA Runner-up
1951–52 Kansas State 19–5 10–2 2nd
1952–53 Kansas State 17–4 9–3 2nd
Kansas State: 147–81(.645) 66–46 (.589)
Utah Utes (Skyline Conference) (1954–1962)
1953–54 Utah 12–14 7–7 T–4th
1954–55 Utah 24–4 13–1 1st NCAA Regional Third Place
1955–56 Utah 22–6 12–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1956–57 Utah 19–8 10–4 2nd
1957–58 Utah 20–7 9–5 T–2nd NIT First Round
1958–59 Utah 21–7 13–1 1st NCAA Second Round
1959–60 Utah 26–3 13–1 1st NCAA Second Round
1960–61 Utah 23–8 12–2 T–1st NCAA Final Four
1961–62 Utah 23–3 13–1 1st
Utah Utes (Western Athletic Conference) (1962–1971)
1962–63 Utah 12–14 5–5 3rd
1963–64 Utah 19–9 4–6 4th
1964–65 Utah 17–9 3–7 6th
1965–66 Utah 23–8 7–3 1st NCAA Final Four
1966–67 Utah 15–11 5–5 T–3rd
1967–68 Utah 17–9 5–5 T–2nd
1968–69 Utah 13–13 5–5 T–2nd
1969–70 Utah 18–10 9–5 2nd NIT Second Round
1970–71 Utah 15–11 9–5 2nd
Utah: 339–154 (.688) 153–70 (.686)
Total: 486–235 (.674)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Sorensen, Mike (April 11, 2000). "Jack Gardner passes at 90". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). (obituary). p. D1.
  2. ^ a b "Former Utah coach dies". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). wire services. April 11, 2000. p. C3.
  3. ^ a b Ferguson, George (March 24, 1971). "Utes Gardner resigns". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. D1.
  4. ^ "Vet cage coach let out at Utah". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. March 24, 1971. p. 40.
  5. ^ Career Bio[permanent dead link]