Arizona Wildcats legend Jason Gardner joins men’s basketball’s staff

Jul 23, 2021, 9:25 AM
Head coach Lute Olson of Arizona Wildcats talks to his guard Jason Gardner #22 during the Pac-10 ga...
Head coach Lute Olson of Arizona Wildcats talks to his guard Jason Gardner #22 during the Pac-10 game against the UCLA Bruins at the Pauley Pavilion in Westwood, California. The Bruins defeated the Wildcats 77-76. Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Head coach of University of Arizona men’s basketball Tommy Lloyd added former Wildcat Jason Gardner as director of player relations, a national player of the year in 2003.

Gardner enters the new role after spending the last decade as a coach in the college ranks.

Gardner, one of six names that is hanging in the rafters in the McKale Center, has a lengthy resume as an assistant coach. In 2011 he was with Loyola Chicago for two seasons under Porter Moser. He then moved to the University of Memphis as an assistant during the 2013-14 season for former Arizona teammate Josh Pastner.

He then went on to be the head coach at IUPUI for five seasons from 2014-2019, helping them reach their third-ever postseason appearance in 2018-19. He ranks third in IUPUI history for wins (64) and was a finalist for the 2019 Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award, which is presented annually to the top Division I minority coach.

The news was announced in a press release from the university Thursday.

“This school and this program have a special place in my heart because it gave me so much during my time here as a student-athlete and beyond,” Gardner said in a statement. “There is nothing like game day in the McKale Center with the best fans in college basketball and I can’t wait to be back!”

Gardner currently ranks third in career scoring for the Wildcats at 1,984 career points.

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Arizona Wildcats legend Jason Gardner joins men’s basketball’s staff