Gary Gardner, Coach, Cross Country and Track and Field
“The team here is fully invested in the full student-athlete experience.”
As head coach of UMass Lowell’s cross country and track and field program, Gary Gardner has guided 137 athletes to All-American honors and two to national championships. He’s also led the men’s cross country team to seven NCAA East Region championships, while simultaneously guiding the River Hawk women to the NCAA East Region title in 2005 and 2008. And his accomplishments don't end there. Gardner's dedication to his athletes has led to outstanding finishes in numerous championships and competitions in both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Greatest challenge to date: the 2012 Olympics in London.
Gardner coached UMass Lowell’s Ruben Sanca
‘09 in preparation for the games. Having coached Sanca in the World Track and Field Championships, Gardner was thrilled at the opportunity to coach him once again, especially at such an esteemed event. “We are extremely excited about heading to the Olympics,” he says. Sanca is scheduled to run for his native Cape Verde in the men’s 5,000 meter.
A 1994 graduate of Keene State, Gardner was a five-time All-New England standout in the indoor and outdoor seasons. In previous roles, he served as the head coach at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and as an assistant at Trinity College, following a stellar career at Keene State.
Gardner acknowledges the people at UMass Lowell for his decision to coach at the University. “I choose UMass Lowell because of the atmosphere created by the student-athletes in our track and field program. The team here is fully invested in the full student-athlete experience. They are truly a family; they care about each other, the coaching staff and UMass Lowell tremendously.” He adds, “Those are the same reasons I continue to love coaching at UMass Lowell.”
During his career at UMass Lowell, Gardner has earned coach of the year honors from the NCAA, U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, as well as the Northeast-10 Conference. He looks forward to many more successful seasons with the River Hawks.