Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s basketball program mourns the loss of longtime athletic coach Mike Bordner, who died following a courageous battle with cancer.
Bordner spent 33 years (1967-2000) as a full-time athletic trainer at Ohio State, working with football, baseball, and primarily the men’s basketball program. He retired in 2000 after 28 years dealing with male student basketball athletes. He was the protégé of Ernest R. Biggs who was the first athletic trainer at Ohio State.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Bordner has worked for five men’s basketball coaches – Fred Taylor, Eldon Miller, Gary Williams, Randy Ayers and Jim O’Brien.
Bordner graduated from Grandview High School and Ohio State with a Diploma in Education in 1969, served as a sports coach for the United States basketball team that competed in the Games in the World Cup in 1979 while also serving as Head Athletic Coach for the Big Ten All- Featured Team which visited Japan in 1995. He received an honorary award from the Varsity O Hall of Fame in 2000. In addition to his work In athletics at Ohio State, Bordner has taught and mentored countless athletic coaches and athletic training students who have entered the profession.
Mike is survived by his wife Gale, his son Scott Bordner (Jane) and their children Brendan, Cameron, Ashton and Damon; her daughter Alison Elsner and her children Zevin and Tristan.
The family will hold a private ceremony at a later date. Instead of flowers, they ask for a donation on his behalf to Kobacker House in Columbus or the Ohio State University Athletic Training Support Fund. (checks can be made payable to Ohio State University, Fund # 317404 in the memo line, Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road 43210)
“This news is profound. Edges have played a vital role in the success of our team on and off the pitch. My prayers go out to him and his family. – Jim Jackson (1990-92)
Thank you for the consummate and professional care you have provided to me and to the hundreds of other Buckeye players, athletes and staff during the decades that you have done so. Consistent, loyal, funny (in a quiet, sneaky way), and a credit to your family and profession, and a gift to us Buckeyes.
I believe you found my dislodged tooth in ’81 and gave it a chance to be saved for a while. Other than that and some tendonitis in my knee, I don’t remember needing much treatment, but I remember you were always there for us. Quiet, fair, firm, laughing and smiling some, and getting the job done. Thank you.
I am saddened by how cruelly cancer has taken over this season of life for you and your family, and I pray to God for peace, comfort and strength for all of you in this time of transition.
May the Lord God bless you and keep you, may he shine his light on you and be gracious to you, may he turn his face towards you and give you peace. “- Clark Kellogg (1980-82)
“I think I speak for many athletes when I say that the team athletic coach is one of the most important positions in all sports. When athletes are injured it can be a vulnerable time as a player, especially mentally. Personally, I would like to sincerely thank Mike Bordner for the four years of caring and trusting me as a player and, more importantly, for the relationship we have developed and maintained after my OSU days. I love you Edges. – Ron Stokes (1982-85)
“Edges was truly heaven-sent. Not only was he a great athletic trainer, he was a great person. As a basketball player at Ohio State, I felt so protected and cared for by him every day. Every time I came to train or dress for a game, I always knew I was in good hands. He has helped a lot of players through their tough times. I think the world of him and I am truly blessed to have been able to have Edges in my life. – Jason Singleton (1996-99)
“Mike Bordner continued the extraordinary legacy of Ernie Biggs, who established Ohio State Athletic Training as a world-class support unit for Ohio State student-athletes. Edges was a mentor of mine along with so many others who have gone on to serve student-athletes at all levels across the United States. The State of Ohio and the athletic training profession express their thoughts and prayers to Mike and his family. “- Doug Calland, Ohio State Associate AD – Sports Performance
“I speak on behalf of the hundreds of undergraduate athletic training students who learned the science of sports medicine from Mike Bordner, but more importantly, we learned the art of sports medicine through him. It was the honor of a lifetime to follow in his footsteps as a men’s basketball athletic coach at Ohio State. His legacy lives on through the student-athletes, coaches and athletic coaches he influenced during his career at OSU. – Vince O’Brien, Ohio State Athletic Coach (1993-2017)
“Coming to Ohio St. with a new team while moving a woman and very young girls, Mike was well aware that training a team was a family affair. It has always extended far beyond the training hall. Deana and I will always be grateful for her concern off the pitch. – Rick Boyages, Big Ten Associate Commissioner of Men’s Basketball and Former Ohio State Assistant Coach
“Edges, like so many others who have supported Buckeye’s student-athletes, represents the best of OSU. I’ve been fortunate enough to reconnect with him over the past few weeks and it’s obvious he loves his wife, his family, Ohio State and all of the former players individually. It’s something that I felt as a player and that I feel even more now. – Kwadjo steel (1997-00)
“I’ll never forget to speak with Mike Bordner in the practice room before starting the last game in St. John’s history. As he calmed my nerves, I couldn’t help but think about the huge role he played in arena history, always going way beyond his duties as a coach. team. He listened, he advised, he encouraged. Above all, he cared about all of us as people first. He personified what makes being part of the Ohio State University basketball family so special. “- Eric Hanna (1995, 1997-98)
“Mike“ Bords ”Bordner has always been the epitome of a team player to me. He has often been a very honest and caring adult and leader to turn to as a young student-athlete. My life is better thanks to Bords! – Shamar Herron (1998-99)
“Mike was the same caring and hardworking guy from the first day I met him until the day I left Ohio State. He was consistent in his character and you really knew he loved the players, the colleagues and his job. Mike treated us all like family and it is an honor to call him a friend. Thank you Mike for sharing countless memories at Ohio State University. OH – Ken Johnson (1998-01)
“Thanks Mike for taking care of all the pain while I was playing for the Buckeyes. You have always listened to the players, even when the day was not going well or you were not feeling well. We’re gonna miss you, man. RIP my friend. Buckeye for Life – Derick Polk (1982-83)
“Edges was one of those old school coaches who gave us tenacity. There was a difference between if you felt sorry for yourself or if you were actually hurt. He tried to protect us all and was fighting every day in the fox hole! I think beating Minnesota for the 2000 Big Ten Championship at the Barn was a little more special. It was his last year and he never forgot the 1972 fight. That’s how loyal he was and how much he loved his guys! – Devon Smith (1999-00)