Men's Basketball Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Gary Garner
Gary Garner is entering his fourth season as Dakota State University men's basketball head coach. During his tenure at Dakota State, the men's basketball program has undergone a transformation from a bottom dweller to a top quality team in the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball. Along the way, Garner guided his team to a historic 2011-12 season that includes the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Conference Postseason Tournament Champions, apperance in the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament and recorded the most wins for the first time since 1992. Garner's team had recorded double digits for three consecutive seasons for the first time in 20 years.
Garner was named the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Coach of the Year honor in 2012. He recorded his 400th career collegiate win on Nov. 1, 2011 with a 79-53 win over Grace (Neb.) at DSU Fieldhouse. Dakota State produced three All-Conference players during Garner's coaching tenure at Dakota State.
Garner collegiate experience is primarily on the Division I and II levels. Prior to coming to Dakota State, he has served as the assistant coach for Iowa Energy, a team with the NBA Development League, for two seasons (2007-08 and 2008-09). He served as head basketball coach at Southeast Missouri State University from 1997-2006. From 1991-1997, he led the men's team at Fort Hays State University. His 1995-1996 team won the NCAA Division II Tournament, capping a perfect 34-0 season. That same year, Garner was named the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
Garner also served stints as head coach at Drake University and Missouri Southern University. He has been an assistant at the University of Missouri and Tulsa University.
His coaching career has included multiple appearances at the NCAA Division II Tournament. His Southeast Missouri State team reached the NCAA Division I Tournament in 2000. His record of 63-2 from 1995-97 at Fort Hays State was the best among collegiate coaches.
In June 2011, Garner was inducted in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Hall of Fame for his successful coaching era at Fort Hays State University.
Garner and his wife Barb currently reside in Madison.
Assistant Head Coach: Matthew Garner
Matthew Garner is in his fourth year with the Dakota State University men’s basketball coaching staff. He was an integral member of the DSU coaching staff that helped the Trojans capture their first-ever Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Division II Men's Basketball Conference Tournament Champions in February 2012. The Trojans qualified for the 2012 NAIA Men's Basketball National Tournament for the first time since 1992. In addition, Dakota State recorded double digits wins for three straight seasons for the first time in 20 years.
Matthew comes to Dakota State University with a wide background of coaching experience. He was a member of the 1995-96 undefeated Fort Hays State University NCAA Division II National Championship team that finished an overall record of 34-0. In addition to his tenure at FHSU, he was an integral part of four conference championships as a player and a volunteer student assistant coach.
After his tenure at Fort Hays State, he joined the coaching staff at NCAA Division I Southeast Missouri State University. Southeast Missouri State won a conference championship team that competed in the coveted NCAA Tournament. From there, Matthew joined the staff at University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (NCAA Division II) before being called to join the coaching staff at University of Denver (NCAA Division I). While at University of Denver, the team won a conference championship and participated in the NIT post season tournament.
After leaving Denver, Matthew joined the coaching staff at DeSmet Jesuit High School in St. Louis, Mo.
Matthew became the assistant men’s basketball coach at Dakota State University in June 2009. He received his bachelor’s degree from Southeast Missouri State University. He currently resides in Madison.
Assistant Coach: Mike Larsen
Mike Larsen is in his second season as an assistant coach with the Dakota State University men's basketball. His duties include film breakdown, assistant junior varsity and varsity coach and film exchange. He was an integral member of the DSU coaching staff that helped the Trojans capture their first-ever Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Division II Men's Basketball Conference Tournament Champions in February 2012. The Trojans qualified for the 2012 NAIA Men's Basketball National Tournament for the first time since 1992. In addition, Dakota State recorded double digits wins for three straight seasons for the first time in 20 years.
Larsen, a first team All-State High School basketball player that helped capture State Championship in Utah, played three years at Northwest Missouri State University. He was a member of two conference championship teams and qualified to NCAA Division II National Tournament twice. Larsen coached one year of high school basketball in Missouri and led the Northwest Nodaway Blue Jays to the conference finals.
Larsen came to Dakota State to play his final year of eligibility. He was named to Dakota Athletic Conference third team All-Conference. Larsen was an integral member of the DSU men's basketball team that recorded their first winning season in 20 years.
Larsen graduated from Northwest Missouri State with a major in Corporate Recreation and a minor in Coaching in July 2011. He married Kati on July 2, 2011. Larsen graduated with his masters in Educational Technology at Dakota State University in December 2012.