(updated 4:40 p.m. Wed.) Gary Gardner to coach Bobcat basketball (07-17-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 12:21
Gary Gardner is ready for the challenge of being a high school head coach.
And his experience will greatly aid him as he takes over for Von Graffin at Bowling Green High School.
In over two decades of coaching, Gardner has worked with Larry Clark, Keith Limes, Steve Stoller, Tony Hoops and Graffin.
‘‘Gary brings a wealth of basketball knowledge to the head coach position,’’ Scott Seeliger, the BGHS athletics director, said in a press release. ‘‘Additionally he is well acclimated to the Bowling Green program and will hit the ground running.
‘‘Equally important, Gary is a highly esteemed educator,’’ he continued. ‘‘I am excited for our student-athletes and know that they will benefit from coach Gardner’s experience.’’
Seeliger added, in a phone conversation, that he felt good after meeting with Gardner and is looking forward to working with him.
Gardner said he has picked up something from every coach with whom he has worked.
‘‘I took a lot from each of them and some very positive things that they each did with the teams and their programs,’’ Gardner said, adding he learned how to relate to players as well as the X’s and O’s of coaching. ‘‘They not only coached the player, but they understood the person behind the uniform and I think that’s very important.’’
Graffin was BG’s head coach for the last 11 years, going 148-94 overall and 111-43 in the Northern Lakes League.
A teacher in the Toledo Public Schools, Graffin was coaching on one-year supplemental contracts at Bowling Green. Graffin was not offered a contract for the upcoming year.
Gardner was an assistant under Graffin for two years and has been in the Anthony Wayne school system since 1997. He is currently the middle school principal at Anthony Wayne.
‘‘It’s going to take a lot of people doing a lot of things to get the program moving to where he (Graffin) had it moving,’’ Gardner said. ‘‘We’re at a tough time in our program ... Obviously it makes it very difficult without five months of the off-season being able to work with our players in individual and team workouts.
‘‘We have also lost the opportunity to meet as a staff and talk about what we want to implement,’’ he added. ‘‘Timing is something that I didn’t have any control over, so we are going to work hard and we’re going to put some things in place and do the best we can for the varsity team and the whole program.’’
A graduate of Eastwood High School and Bowling Green State University, Gardner started coaching while still in college. He has been a varsity assistant at Perrysburg and Otsego and coached at the freshman and middle schools levels. He’s also coached and directed an AAU program.
“Since a couple of years into college to today, I have been very heavily involved with basketball,’’ Gardner said.
Gardner worked in the financial world immediately after graduation from BGSU, but went back to BGSU and got his teacher’s certificate and started teaching at Otsego in 1989. He also taught in the Perrysburg school system.
‘‘I’ve had varsity coaching experience, just not head coaching, so it’s certainly going to be different. I’m certainly not naive to that,’’ Gardner said.
The Bobcats were 14-11 last season, but lost six seniors from that team.
Gardner doesn’t like the term —rebuilding. But he knows he has a tough task with a young group this season. Both the junior varsity and freshmen teams struggled last season.
‘‘As far as expectations, I think it would be hard to find anyone, that is on paper saying that we’re going to be where we have been as far as a varsity team with wins and losses,’’ Gardner said. ‘‘We’re going to do everything we can with this varsity group coming up. This varsity group is definitely a bunch of winners; they are very coachable and they work very hard.
‘‘We lost, possibly not definitely, the best senior class that ever went through Bowling Green,’’ he added. ‘‘We are going to be a little different than we have been for many, many years.’’
Gardner said there are only two players, one starter, with significant varsity experience returning for the upcoming season.
Gardner is looking to build a grass roots feeder system to help improve the program at every level.
‘‘We want to work very hard, work all the way down through the youth and expand some areas there,’’ Gardner said. ‘‘We want to try to get some interest and involvement all the way up.’’
Shawn Ginnan and Matt Karaffa have been retained from last year’s coaching staff. Gardner is looking for a varsity assistant coach for the coming season.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 06:17

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