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STEPHENVILLE (June 11, 2015)
“I’m fired up about being a part of this,” said Turner. “We have a bunch of hard-working young men that strive to be better. They don’t want to be a part of something mediocre and average. I really feel like there is something special going on here.”
Turner comes to Tarleton State with 12 years of college coaching experience under his belt, including last season at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He spent seven seasons from 2001-07 between NCAA Division I-AA Eastern Illinois and Tennessee State where he was a part of three Ohio Valley Conference Championships.
He has been around his share of NFL standouts as a coach, including the 2001-02 seasons at Eastern Illinois when Tony Romo was under center. In 2004, while at Tennessee State, Turner was the defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator when he helped land and coach future first-round draft pick Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the Tigers.
His coaching career started at Murray State following his four-year playing career for the Racers, which is where his “very unique relationship” with Fowler began.
“Me and Tony go way back,” said Fowler. “We have a very unique relationship because we played together, coached together and I coached him while he was a player. I’m excited to have him here because he knows how to win and get the kids to compete at a high level.”
Turner went to Murray State as a running back and return specialist in 1993, where Fowler was a standout defensive back. Turner spent his first three seasons on offense before an injury on the defensive side of the ball left Murray State in need of safety help.
The Racers, who were a top-five program in the nation and in the heat of a postseason race, needed someone to fill the position and Turner stepped into that role – a position that was being coached by Fowler.
“(Fowler) was a mentor, a good leader, and someone a player could follow,” said Turner. “We played together, he helped me in my transition to safety when I was a player and he was a coach, and he helped me transition into coaching. He’s been a great example for me. I believe he trusts me and I know that I trust him. I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
Turner will take over the duties of coaching the secondary, which has belonged to Fowler since his arrival as the defensive coordinator in 2008. Fowler, who has taken over defensive coordinator responsibilities for this year, will transition to coaching middle linebackers.
“It’s hard to coordinate without coaching the linebackers – and if I would have had it my way in 2008 and 2009, I would have rather coached the linebackers – because they’re involved in every aspect of the play,” said Fowler. “Marc (Martinez) will help me with the linebackers while Charles (Moore) will help Coach Turner in the secondary.
“The staff I have here is incredible,” continued Fowler. “Our coaches are doing a great job and our secretary, Melanie Lane, has been a great addition. She has been a tremendous help to all of us.”
Turner received his bachelor’s degree from Murray State in 1998. He graduated from Conway High School in Conway, Arkansas in 1993. He is married to his wife of 13 years, Maika, and the two have three children – Myka, Aryah, and Tessa.
He joins Chase Holbrook and Jack Taylor as the newest full-time assistants to the Texan Football coaching staff for the 2015 campaign, which is set to begin on September 12 in Stephenville against Findlay at 7 p.m.