Area native recognized for coaching in Texas


Last updated 1/16/2021 at 2:33pm

WACO, Texas — An eastern New Mexico native was recognized Friday night for 40 years of excellence as a high school baseball coach, with induction into the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Causey native Rodney Gardner was inducted alongside Nolan Ryan and Slinton High School coach Gene Kasprzyk to mark the association’s 50th year.

Gardner retired in 2015 from Andrews High School, where he had spent the last 14 years of his career. His coaching career began at Elida in 1975 after his playing career at Lubbock Christian University concluded.

After seven years in New Mexico, which included time at Aztec and Alamogordo, Gardner went across the border, where he coached 13 seasons at Lubbock Estacado and six at Abernathy before heading to Andrews.

Teams coached by Gardner made the postseason over his final 20 seasons, including all 14 at Andrews. The Mustangs reached the state semifinals in 2009, where they fell to eventual state champion Carthage.

Gardner won 723 games over his 40 seasons, but media outlets that covered Andrews estimated his win total would be closer to 800 had he not created challenging pre-district schedules for his teams that included tournaments in Midland and Lubbock.


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