Change of heart: Bowling Green High School boys basketball coach resigns


BOWLING GREEN — Three weeks after Gary Gardner moved up to the position of head boys basketball coach at Bowling Green High School, he has decided to step down.

Gardner had been hired to succeed former coach Von Graffin late last month. However, Gardner submitted his letter of resignation today.

Gardner has been a middle school principal in the Anthony Wayne School District since 1997. He told BG athletic director Scott Seeliger that he was concerned he could not balance his role as an administrator as well as the new position as a head coach.

In a letter Gardner sent to Seeliger on Friday, Gardner said he did not directly seek the position and had no intention of becoming a head basketball coach at any time in his career.

“When the possibility was presented in July, I believed it could work positively and successfully for everyone involved,” Gardner wrote.

But he said when he “officially” started his position as a middle school principal this month, it became “increasingly apparent that it will not be the best fit for anyone.”

“I believe the time and focus needed to provide the Bowling Green basketball program all that it deserves, while giving the time and focus that my job requires at Anthony Wayne … would be a disservice to both positions,” he wrote. “Furthermore, I believe my family would suffer at the expense of somehow trying to make both jobs work.”

Gardner had served as a varsity assistant under Graffin, whose contract was not renewed on July 1 by the district’s board of education after 11 seasons.

Gardner also was an assistant varsity coach at Perrysburg and Otsego.

Gardner was hired to replace Graffin, the most successful coach in the history of the program. Graffin coached the Bobcats for 11 seasons and led them to a 148-94 record, the most wins in the program's history.

Last year the Bobcats went 14-11, finished second in the league, and won a sectional title. Six seniors graduated from that team including Gardner’s son, Evan, and Vitto Brown, the Ohio Division II co-player of the year who will play at Wisconsin.

Gardner said he is hopeful that a new coach can be hired by the time coaching is permitted.

“I will be fully supportive of the next head coach and the great group of kids throughout the program, and I look forward to the seeing the basketball program grow,” Gardener wrote. “I appreciate the confidence shown in placing me in the position. I believe I could have been a good head coach just not at the same time as trying to be a good administrator and father/husband.”

Contact Mark Monroe at:, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.