- Justice Administration
Majoring in justice administration at the University of Louisville, Gardner has a 3.53 GPA and is on schedule to complete his degree this spring. He has been named to the College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s List (minimum 3.5 semester GPA) for five semesters. He was also chosen as a Red & Black Scholar (cumulative 3.25 GPA) for seven semesters. Gardner was named to the Big East Conference All-Academic Team in each of his first three seasons at Louisville for his work in the classroom.
Following the completion of his baseball career and with a degree in justice administration in hand, Gardner plans to pursue a career in law enforcement following in the service-driven footsteps of numerous family members. Gardner’s father, grandfather and brother-in-law have all served as police officers and his entire life has been shaped by being raised in a family devoted to service. Along with his family members who have served on the police department, his mother was an Emergency Medical Technician, an uncle is a retired firefighter, one cousin is currently serving as a firefighter, another cousin served in the United States Army, another cousin served in the United States Air Force and he has two sisters who are nurses. One constant theme in his family is that of public service. It has played a great role in shaping him and the ideals and beliefs he has. Guided by his Christian faith, he sees his purpose in life as a servant to others in whatever way he can. Whether it be on a baseball field, in city streets or even a foreign battlefield, he desires to be someone that others reach out to and can depend on. He was raised in a family of people who wish to serve others and do things for those people that they could not do themselves. He possess a desire to be the person to answer the door when a threat comes knocking, and he is thankful for his family teaching him that purpose.
As noted when describing his character, Gardner has a love for his community and is driven by the purpose to serve the people in the community around him as a member of law enforcement. Whether it’s on the baseball field or in the city streets, his motivation is to be a dependable servant to his community. As a member of the Louisville baseball team, he recently participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event in support of cancer research and treatment, spoke to students at Oldham County Middle School while representing Fellowship of Christian Athletes and visited with students during Career Day at Sacred Heart Model School.
After finishing the 2013 College World Series season as one of the Cardinals’ top hitters, senior outfielder and team captain Jeff Gardner has continued to pace the way for the Louisville offense in 2014. Gardner leads the team in average (.384), RBI (39), doubles (12) and slugging (.607) and ranks second in home runs (3) while starting 27 games. Entering this week, Gardner was ranked fourth in the nation in RBI and was in the top 50 nationally in hitting and doubles. With a 24-8 record overall, Louisville has been ranked throughout the season and is positioned as highly as No. 10 in this week’s Perfect Game Top 25.
Gardner’s numerous on-field honors include being named to the 2013 NCAA Louisville Regional All-Tournament Team, a 2013 First Team All-Big East selection, a 2012 Second Team All-Big East honoree and a member of the 2011 All-Big East Tournament Team. As a junior during the Cardinals’ 2013 College World Series season, Gardner led the team with nine home runs and hit .337 overall while driving in 43 runs. He ranked 26th nationally with a .632 slugging percentage and finished with 15 doubles. He was named to Louisville Regional All-Tournament Team after hitting .462 (6-for-13) with three doubles, a triple, three RBI and three runs scored in the trio of games. A two-time team captain in 2013 and 2014, Gardner currently (as of March 3, 2014) leads the nationally ranked Cardinals in hitting (.459), RBI (16 in 11 games) and home runs with two. During his four-year career in Louisville, he has 125 career starts and has played in 164 games overall.