Coach Gary Tanner is a Cherokee from Jay, Oklahoma who came to Haskell Indian Nations University when it was a Junior College. Coach Tanner played, started and lettered in the Sports of Football and Wrestling while at Haskell during the 1976 & 1977 school years. After moving from Haskell, Coach Tanner played Football for Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma where they finished as the National Runner-Up Team in 1980. His two year stay at NSU was successful as they finished with a 20-4 record. After he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Education, Coach Tanner gained experience in high School for four years before returning to Haskell Junior College as an Assistant Football Coach for the Fightin' Indians.
In 1986 Coach Tanner became the Head Football Coach at Haskell and remained there until 2000 when he retired from coaching Football. During his years as Head Football Coach he helped with the transition to the university level of competition and the entrance into the NAIA. During his years as Head Football Coach, he earned his Master Degree in Education from the University of Kansas. Coach Tanner started the program and served as the Head Women Fast pitch Softball Coach for 11 years until his move to the position of Head Men's Golf Coach where he is at today. Coach Tanner has been at Haskell in the Athletic Department for 28 years.
Gary Tanner is an Instructor and the present Chair for the Health, Sport and Exercise Science Department.
He married Jane Walkinshaw a while back and they had three children: Brady who has been the ball boy for the Fightin' Indians football team for 24 years and is still on the sideline today: Jamie, who played softball for four years at Haskell and earned 1st team All-Conference while starting in the outfield for the Fightin' Indians: Jennifer who attended Haskell before getting married, she now supports Haskell from the stands. Janie and Gary have 1 Grandchild who is the light of the world for the whole family, she is 7 years old and her name is Chilali Masey Tanner.