Mike Gandy, a 1996 honors and Advanced Placement Garland High School graduate, was a two-sport athlete who excelled at football as well as track and field. Joining GISD as a second grader, Mike was an outstanding student who enjoyed being in the orchestra and playing select soccer until his freshman year.
During his high school career, he was involved in several organizations including Student Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Texas Scholars program. As a 14-year-old sophomore, he started as a tight and defensive end on the varsity football team. He was selected as a first-team All-District player in 1994 and 1995, as well as a second-team All-State preseason selection. He was also chosen for the Schutt All-American and Blue Chip Illustrated All-American Teams. Following his senior season, Mike was selected to play in the Texas vs. Oklahoma “Oil Bowl” All-Star game in Wichita Falls, and the Texas vs. California “Shrine Football Classic” All-Star game in Los Angeles.
On February 7, 1996, Mike signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Notre Dame University on a full scholarship, becoming the first GHS football player to join the fighting Irish. Mike received multiple awards while playing for the Irish and finished his stellar career with 26 consecutive starts. He was named third-team All-American by the Sporting News, and was ranked as the third-best pro prospect at the offensive guard position. Mike graduated from the University of Notre Dame in May 2000, earning degrees in sociology and computer applications.
After college, Mike entered the NFL as a third-round selection and the 68th pick overall by the Chicago Bears. Mike played for the Bears from 2001-2004 before joining the Buffalo Bills. He spent two seasons as a starter with the Bills before moving on to Arizona. He played three seasons for the Cardinals and was a starter in the XLIII Super Bowl in 2009. He started 109 games during his nine-year NFL career.