Joe gardner

Baird Middle School head football coach Joe Gardner

A familiar face, if not voice, in Wilson County sports circles has taken on the head football coaching reins at Lebanon's Walter J. Baird Middle School.

Joe Gardner, a longtime member of the WANT-FM radio broadcast crew for Lebanon High football, has assumed the top spot for the Junior Blue Devils.

Gardner is in his fifth season as a member of the Baird coaching staff.

He spent the previous four seasons working with former head coach Aaron Brown, who left to take a similar position in White County.

A former standout at Lebanon High School for Coach Mark Medley, Gardner was a receiver and defensive back for the Blue Devils, graduating in the Class of 1992.

Gardner is putting his players through preseason conditioning work with an eye toward going in pads following the TSSAA-mandated dead period.

This story first appeared in the Wednesday, June 9 print edition of The Wilson Post.