JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Dakota State University men's basketball head coach Gary Garner was named the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Division II Men's basketball Coach of the Year. The announcement came shortly after the Trojans beat Jamestown (N.D.) in the A.I.I. Tournament's championship game Sunday evening at the Civic Center.
It was the second straight year that Garner has received this prestigious honor. The Trojans captured the A.I.I. Division II Men's Basketball Tournament for the second straight year. DSU defeated Northern New Mexico, Valley City State (N.D.) and Jamestown (N.D.) to claim the title.
Garner guided his team to their best start this season with a 7-1 record for the first time since 1966-67 season (9-1 record). In addition, the Trojans set a new school record for most victories in a single season with 22 wins (previous old mark was 20 wins, which happened twice – 1990-91 and 1966-67 seasons).
Since the beginning of Coach Garner's tenure at Dakota State in 2009-10, his teams have produced double-digit victories in all four seasons (for the first time since 1988-89 through 1993-94 seasons – six straight seasons with double-digit wins). After the completion of Sunday's game versus Jamestown, N.D., Garner had produced a 66-54 career record as the head coach at Dakota State. He improved his overall career collegiate coaching record to 439-353.
Dakota State will be making their second straight trip to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament in Point Lookout, Mo. next week. It is the first time in DSU men's basketball team history to make two straight appearances in the national tournament.