June 3, 2010
LOGAN, Utah - Former Utah State track and field student-athlete and assistant coach Darrell C. Gardner passed away in an accident earlier this week at the age of 51.
Gardner graduated from Utah State in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in physical education as well as earning his Master's degree in heath, physical education and recreation from USU in 1988. He was the recipient of the USU H.B. & Ethel Hunsaker Scholarship, as well as the 1985 Outstanding Senior Award for Physical Education, in addition to being the College of Education Media Representative in 1985.
He ran track for the Aggies, helping USU to a third-place finish in outdoor track and field in the Big West in 1985, which at the time was the Aggies' best finish in their nine years in the conference. He was also an assistant coach for the Aggie track and field team from 1986-1988.
"The biggest thing about Darrell was his everlasting enthusiasm, especially for young people. It didn't matter who you were or where you came from, Darrell wanted to help anyone," said veteran USU head coach Gregg Gensel, who was an assistant coach during Gardner's athletic and coaching tenure at USU. "His enthusiasm and passion was contagious. He made everyone around him a better person."
Gardner taught history and social dance classes at Emery High School in Huntington, Utah, where he also coached the Spartan track and field team. He stayed active in track and field, as he still holds records in the 400m hurdles in two different age groups of the Utah Summer Games in 1991 and 1992. Gardner also was a torch-bearer for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Gardner's funeral was Thursday. An account has been set up for donations in Gardner's name at Zions Bank in Huntington.
Friends of Coach Gardner are invited to attend the "Last Run for Coach Gardner" on Thursday, June 10 from 6 - 8 p.m. It will be held at EHS's track in Huntington. A donation box will be available as well to make a donation to his family.
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