Gary Garner, the 2000 Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year, the 1982 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year and the 1996 National Coach of the year. Garner begins his 23rd season as a collegiate head coach adn his ninth year at Southeast Missouri State
Garner is 366-277 in 22 years as a collegiate head coach and si 119-112 in eight seasons at Southeast. Last season, the Redhawks advanced to the semi-finals of the Ohio Valley Conference post-season tournament and ended the season with an overall record of 15-14 with eight of the 14 losses by four points or less.
With a solid group of recruits, two returning starters and a transfer from Montana, Garner feels the Redhawks will be improved for the 2005-2006 season. "With our improved atleticism we should be a much improved defensive team with our new inside players we should be able to rebound the basketball," Garner said."With the return of starters Terrick Willoughby and Paul Paradoski and the addition of transfer Roy Booker we have all the ingredients to be an improved team. Booker has the ability to be on teh top players in the OVC."
The 1999-2000 Southeast team claimed the Ohio Valley Conference regular season co-championship, won the OVC post-season tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Along the way, Southeast ended Murray State's nation leading 47-game home win streak and took Louisiana State to the wire in the first round of the NCAA tournament before losing 67-64.
Garner picked up coaching win number 300 during the season as Southeast finished 24-7. The Indians were 14-4 in the OVC.
The 24 wins was the most for Southeast at the Division I level and follows last the 1998-99 season record of 20-9.
Garner was named Co-Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 1999 and was runnerup in the 2000 voting. His three year record at Southeast stands at 58-29 while his overall record is 305-192 in 17 seasons including coaching stints at Missouri Southern, Drake and Fort Hays State. Win number 300 came Feb. 10 when Southeast beat Tennessee-Martin.
Southeast finished second in the OVC regular season and post-season tournament during the 1998-99 season.
In Garner's first year at Southeast, he guided Southeast to a record of 14-13.
Garner guided Fort Hays State to its first ever NCAA Division II national championship in 1996 when the Tigers completed an undefeated season with a record of 34-0. During the 1996-97 season, Fort Hays was 29-2, making Garner the winningest collegiate coach from 1995 to 1997 with a record of 63-2.
A native Missourian, Garner had a record of 138-44 in six season at Fort Hays State. Over a period of two seasons from 1995 to 1997 his team had a win streak of 49 games, the fourth longest in the history of college basketball. He guided the Tigers to four straight NCAA II tournament appearances.
After the 1996-97 season, Garner was named Basketball Times NCAA II Coach of the Yea and in 1996 was named Sears/National Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year.
Originally from West Plains, Garner earned a scholarship at the University of Missouri following a stellar prep career where he was named first team all-state. He was a three year varsity letter winner at Missouri and earned second-team All-Big Eight honors after averaging 15 points per game his senior season when he served as team captain.
Following his playing days at Mizzou, Garner stayed on from 1965-67 as a graduate assistant coach. His first head coaching job was at Kemper Military Academy in Boonville, Mo. (1967-71) and he later served as head coach and athletic director at Trenton Junior College in Trenton, Mo. (1971-76).
Garner left the junior college ranks in 1976 to become head coach at Missouri Southern during the 1976-77 season. He returned to his alma mater the following year as an assistant coach for Norm Stewart. While Garner was on the Mizzou staff, the Tigers won two Big Eight titles and advanced to the NCAA tournament three times.
Garner became head coach at Drake in 1981 and became the third winningest coach in Drake history during his seven seasons as head coach. His 1986 Drake team advanced to the NIT tournament. He was named Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 1982 and was runnerup for the same honor in 1986.
Garner served as an assistant coach at Tulsa during the 1988-89 season and spent two years in real estate sales before taking the head job at Fort Hays State.
Garner and his wife Barbara are parents of two boys, Matt and Jon. Matt serves as an assistant coach at Denver University.