Garner will not be back, source says

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Gary Garner's nine-year run as the Southeast Missouri State men's basketball coach apparently is over.

A source close to the situation told the Southeast Missourian on Tuesday night that Garner, who is in the final year of his contract, will not have the contract renewed.

Garner, who reportedly met with Southeast administrators at length Tuesday, is scheduled to meet again with the administration early today. The source said Garner will probably be given the opportunity to officially resign if he wishes to do so.

A public announcement regarding Garner's dismissal or resignation could come as early as today, the source said.

"A lot of pros and cons were weighed," the source said. "It was just felt that this was the best decision."

Southeast athletic director Don Kaverman, attending Tuesday night's first-round Ohio Valley Conference women's basketball tournament game at the Show Me Center between Southeast and Murray State, did not say whether Garner would return as coach.

Kaverman did say, "I think we'll have something to announce this week. I'm confident we will. Obviously, a lot of people out there are concerned with the program. We need to resolve this as soon as possible.

"It could be any day."

Kaverman did not rule out the possibility that an announcement may come today.

Garner's Redhawks on Saturday night completed a 7-20 season, including a 4-16 Ohio Valley Conference mark that placed them 10th in the 11-team OVC and left them out of the eight-team conference tournament.

This marks Southeast's fourth losing season in the past five years under Garner, the only exception being last season's 15-14 record that featured a 9-7 OVC mark and a trip to the league tournament semifinals.

Garner's nine-year record at Southeast is 126-132, including a 50-91 mark over the past five seasons.

In Garner's first four years, Southeast was 76-41, including a 24-7 mark in 1999-2000 that featured the program's first Ohio Valley Conference championship and first NCAA Division I tournament berth.

Garner said following Saturday's season-ending loss to Jacksonville State that he believes Southeast will be back among the OVC's elite teams next year, when touted transfers Brandon Foust and Mike Rembert become eligible, and the Redhawks regain the services of several players who missed time this season.

As disappointing as this turmoil-plagued season was -- Southeast finished with just seven available scholarship players because of injuries and other reasons -- Garner said, "I feel really good about our program. I feel we have the team to win the OVC championship next year."

Garner could not be reached for comment Tuesday night, but it appears that if the 2006-07 Redhawks do get back to the top of the OVC, he won't be behind the bench.


Gary Garner era at Southeast

 OverallPct.
1997-9814-13.519
1998-9920-9.690
1999-200024-7*.774
2000-0118-12.600
2001-026-22.214
2002-0311-19.367
2003-0411-16.407
2004-0515-14.517
2005-067-20.259
Totals126-132.488

* -- OVC champions; NCAA tournament berth

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