Feb 13, 2018
Bob Gardner has been the executive director of the National
Federation of State High School Associations since May of 2010. He
will be retiring from this position in August of 2018 after nearly
50 years of serving in secondary education. Gardner was only the
fifth full-time executive director for the NFHS since 1940.
During his 18 years on the NFHS staff in Indianapolis,
participation in high school sports has increased by almost
400,000, including the expanded opportunity for students with
disabilities in high school sports. Gardner has led the
organization’s focus on risk minimization in high school sports,
with particular emphasis on concussion awareness, and has brought a
heightened national presence to the work of the NFHS and its member
In addition to the continual expansion of the NFHS Learning
Center during his tenure, Gardner is credited with starting the
NFHS Network, the first-of-its-kind digital coverage of high school
sports with more than 25,000 events covered during the 2016-17
He spent his career in Indiana as a teacher and coach at three
schools for eight years and as an athletic director. In 1978,
Gardner became principal of Milan Junior-Senior High School,
followed by a stint as superintendent of the Milan Community
After serving on the Indiana High School Athletic Association
board of directors during his time at Milan, Gardner joined the
IHSAA staff in 1985 as assistant commissioner. He served 10 years
in that role prior to becoming commissioner in 1995.
Gardner joined the NFHS staff in 2000 as chief operating officer
and served in that position for 10 years prior to becoming
executive director. During this time, he chaired the NFHS Rules
Review Committee and was responsible for day-to-day operations of
the organization. He has served on the board of directors for USA
Football, USA Basketball and the Indiana Sports Corp. He is a
member of the Indiana High School Wrestling Hall of Fame.
In today’s episode, we discuss:
- His career serving student-athletes
- The movie Hoosiers and the real-life story
- The future of High School sports
The High School Sports Network: www.nfhsnetwork.com
Coaching & Educational Courses: www.nfhslearn.com
Click here for the article about
Bob's upcoming retirement.
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