NAIA NEWS: Dakota State’s Garner to retire at end of season

Dakota State University men’s basketball head coach Gary Garner announced Monday that he will retire at the end of the 2022-23 season. 

Garner is in his 14th season with the Trojan men’s basketball team, the second longest men’s basketball coaching tenure behind legendary Ed Harter.  Garner, who began coaching Dakota State in 2009, holds the second most all-time victories in men’s basketball program history with 194 wins prior to this weekend’s home games at DSU Fieldhouse. 

During his tenure at Dakota State University, Garner transformed the men’s basketball program from the bottom dweller to a top-quality team in NAIA.  Under his leadership, the Trojans advanced to the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) postseason tournament’s championship game four times (2014, 2015, 2016, 2021), winning the titles in 2015 and 2016.  In addition, the Trojans won the independent conference postseason tournaments in 2012 and 2013.

Garner guided the Trojans to back-to-back NSAA regular-season co-champions in 2015 and 2016, the first men’s basketball regular-season conference title since 1991. 

He took his squads to the NAIA Division II National Tournament four times in a span of five years, including a historic run to the Elite Eight round in 2013 where DSU established the men’s basketball program record of 25 wins.

Garner had coached 17 All-Conference players, two North Star Athletic Association Most Valuable Players, and five NAIA Men’s Basketball All-America athletes during his time at Dakota State.

The school will begin a national search to find a new men’s basketball coach immediately.

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