WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Gallaudet University Athletics Department is proud to announce Mikaela Gardner has been elevated from assistant coach to head coach of the men's and women's track and field program as announced by Director of Athletics Michael Weinstock.
"Mikaela is a hard worker that has a strong commitment and compassion for track and field," said Weinstock. "Her enthusiasm and commitment to the program will help raise the bar for both the men's and women's teams."
Gardner, 26, will enter her third year working with Gallaudet's track and field program. She has also served as an assistant coach with the cross country program. Gardner replaces former head coach Thomas Withrow who stepped down this past summer.
"I have enjoyed being an assistant coach here for the past few seasons and I am excited for this new challenge as head coach. I am very passionate about the sport [track and field] and the student-athletes here at Gallaudet," said Gardner. "There are a lot of very talented student-athletes here and I hope to get many of them involved with track and field."
Last season, Gallaudet finished its final season in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) where the Bison finished sixth overall at the conference championships in both the final men's and women's standings. Freshman Darius Flowers (Springville, Ala.) had a breakout season with the men's team as he won the triple jump title at the CAC championships and earned conference rookie of the year. Flowers went onto the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III championships in Springfield, Mass., where he placed sixth.
"I have three goals for the 2011 season and they include increasing the awareness of the program here on campus, adding more student-athletes to our men's and women's teams and to have some Bison student-athletes qualify for postseason championships," said Gardner. "We have a committed coaching staff here that wants to help develop our student-athletes. Anybody that is a part of our program will be exposed to great competition, teamwork and of course tons of fun."
Gardner currently resides in Washington, D.C. The Tucson, Ariz., native attended Tucson High Magnet School for high school.
If you are interested in being a part of the 2011 Gallaudet University men's and women's track and field program please e-mail Coach Gardner at firstname.lastname@example.org.