- Scott Powers, Reporter
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Former Arizona guard Jason Gardner was added to Loyola coach Porter Moser's staff as an assistant coach on Friday.
Gardner starred at Arizona from 1999-03 and helped the Wildcats to a runner-up finish in the 2001 NCAA tournament. He had his number retired by the school in 2005. He played overseas until 2010.
Gardner began his coaching career last season as an assistant at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis. He was also an assistant coach for the Eric Gordon All Stars, a club team, this summer.
"I think there's no question he's going to be a star in this profession," Moser said. "As a player, he had an infectious, positive impact on any kid he was around. When I talked to coach Lute Olson and Josh Pastner, they said, ‘We've never had a player who had an impact on players like Jason Gardner did.'"
Moser has focused on Illinois and Indiana to be his main recruiting grounds. He believed Gardner could assist him in getting players from Indiana.
"I wanted two assistant coaches from Illinois and one from Indiana," Moser said. "Jason's well liked in Indiana. He was Mr. Basketball in Indiana. He went to North Central [High School.] He's very well connected in Indiana."
Gardner replaces Michael Lewis as Loyola's third assistant coach. Lewis was hired in April shortly after Moser became Loyola's head coach and left the program less than a month later to take a position on Butler's staff.