Ornette Gardenhire enters his third season as head coach for the Lakeland Community College women's basketball team and his 10th season coaching at Lakeland. In Gardenhire's first season as head coach, the Lakers finished with a 5-19 record in a challenging season. Last year, Lakeland women's basketball improved under Gardenhire and finished with a 16-10 overall record. The Lakers won a Region XII District I quarterfinal game against Cuyahoga Community College in 2017-18 to earn a trip to the semifinals in Circleville, Ohio.
Gardenhire was an assistant coach with the Lakeland men’s basketball program for seven years. Since his arrival, the Lakers have increased their win total each season and have won a pair of Region 12, District 11 championships for the first time in school history.
In Gardenhire’s third season, Lakeland earned the program’s first district title and NJCAA Division II National Tournament appearance, ultimately finishing eighth. Last year, Gardenhire helped the Lakers repeat as district champions and advance to the Final Four before falling to eventual national champion Mott Community College in the national semifinals. In 2015, the Lakers finished fourth in the country. During his tenure as the assistant coach the Lakeland basketball program has had national finishes of fourth, fifth and eighth place.
No stranger to NJCAA men’s basketball or the national tournament, Gardenhire was an assistant at nearby Cuyahoga in 2003-04 when the Challengers won a national championship. He helped Cuyahoga repeat as district champions one year later and advance to the NJCAA Final Four. Gardenhire assumed head coaching responsibilities for the 2007-08 season, guiding his team to a 21-9 overall record and 12-4 mark in OCCAC competition. The following season he transitioned to Lakeland to work alongside head coach Terry Bowe.
Gardenhire was a four-year college starter, playing two years at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Before playing his final two seasons at Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Ornette Gardenhire has earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Bloomfield College. He also holds a MBA in Sports Management from Tiffin University. He resides in Twinsburg, Ohio.