Former Weber State athletic director Gardner passes away

Apr 12 2011 - 2:23pm

NORTH OGDEN -- Former Weber State athletic director Dale Gardner died Friday at his home in North Ogden. He was 83.

Gardner was an all-around athlete while attending Weber State College and then at Utah State University, and after his nine years as WSC athletic director, was the first administrator of the Dee Events Center.

Gardner was born March 27, 1928 in Deweyville. He married his high school sweetheart JoAnne Harper in February 1947. The two were married for 64 years, and had six children, 34 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren.He graduated from Bear River High School in 1946 where he earned high school letters in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He served in the United States Army from 1946-1948.

Gardner was an all-around athlete at Weber State Junior College from 1949-51 where he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball for two years.

After his Weber State career, he went to Utah State University where he was the captain on the 1952 Aggie football team and earned All-Conference honors. He lettered in football and basketball at Utah State from 1952-53.

After graduation he spent two years as the athletic director, head football, basketball, and baseball coach at Teton High School in Driggs, Idaho.

Gardner then spent one season as an assistant football coach at Utah State before moving into athletic administration. He spent the next 13 years (1956-68) as assistant athletic director at Utah State.

He earned his master's degree from Utah State in 1961.

Gardner was named athletic director at Weber State in the spring of 1968, replacing long-time athletic director Reed Swenson. Gardner served nine years as the A.D., before leaving the post in 1977.

During his years with the Wildcats he hired Phil Johnson as men's basketball head coach. Johnson won three Big Sky Conference titles in his three years as head coach, before moving on to the NBA.

Gardner was influential in the building of the Dee Events Center and worked for several years as the manager of the building after it was built in November 1977.

He received the Reed K. Swenson Award and was inducted into the Weber State Hall of Fame in 2008. He was recently inducted into the Utah State Sports Hall of Fame as a contributor to sports.

Funeral services were held Tuesday.

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