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Garner out as coach at Southeast Missouri St.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Gary Garner is out as Southeast
Missouri State's basketball coach following a 7-20 season, his
ninth at the school.

The university said Wednesday it will not extend Garner's
five-year contract. The decision came days after the Redhawks
finished a season in which they went 4-16 in the Ohio Valley
Conference.

"I understand it was made in the best interest of the
university," Garner said. "I continue to feel very good about the
players coming back next year."

The 62-year-old Garner had a 126-132 record at the school. In
2000, Southeast Missouri reached the NCAA tournament, losing in the
first round and finishing the season 24-7.

"He's a man of integrity and a team player, and he can take
great pride in what he has accomplished as a coach,'' athletic
director Don Kaverman said.

He said a search for a new coach begins immediately.

Garner coached for more than 20 years, including stints at Fort
Hays State, Tulsa and Drake. He played for Missouri and later was
an assistant there under Norm Stewart.