Jeff Gardner (’72) – Football
Jeff played four years of varsity football. By his sophomore season at Columbus, he was playing both ways – on the offensive and defensive line.
By all accounts, Jeff Gardner was a dominating high school player, despite the fact that he was never the biggest nor the fastest player on the field. In his senior year, he was named first team all–everything – all-city, all-state and all-American. Later, he would become one of only two Columbus players to be selected to the Miami Herald all-decade team.
Jeff was selected as Columbus Athlete of the Year in 1972.
Jeff Gardner signed a football scholarship with Florida State University – where he became a three-year starter at offensive guard.
He was all-conference as a junior and senior and he was named first-team All-American by the Associated Press in 1972. By the way, that was the year he played with a broken hand and a broken foot.
After college football, Jeff went on to coach at the collegiate level for six years, including two at the University of Florida.
Today, he lives in Gainesville and is the controller for a funeral home and cemetery. Jeff and his wife, Lynn, have been married 20 years and have a daughter.