FIU hires Ron Turner

MIAMI — Former Illinois coach Ron Turner is going back to the college sideline.

Florida International hired Turner as its football coach Thursday night, signing him to a five-year deal with a base salary of $500,000 annually.
FIU director of sports and entertainment Pete Garcia said he received a faxed copy of the signed contract and that Turner would be in Miami for an
introductory news conference Friday afternoon.

Turner - most recently the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks coach - replaces Mario Cristobal, who was fired last month.

''This guy knows football,'' Garcia said. ''He's the best quarterback coach in America, college or pro. So I'm very excited to get this guy.
He's one of the best offensive minds in America. This guy's a total package. He can do it all.''

It will be Turner's first trip back to the college game since he was fired by Illinois in 2004, three seasons after taking the Illini to what was
their first Big Ten title in a decade. Illinois went to the Sugar Bowl after that 10-2 season in 2001 and Turner was Big Ten coach of the year.

Illinois won only nine of its next 34 games under Turner, including just one Big Ten game in a two-season span. He left Illinois with a 35-57 record in eight seasons.

Still, Garcia was thrilled to get Turner, pointing to his role in working with elite NFL players like Peyton Manning (he was an offensive position
coach with the Indianapolis Colts at the time) and Devin Hester (when Turner was the Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator).

''I'm very excited about this hire,'' Garcia said.

Garcia said he consulted with current Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano, Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano and Bucs' special assistant Butch Davis before hiring Turner.

''They all said the same thing,'' Garcia said. ''They all told me this was the guy we had to get.''

FIU will be the 10th college program Turner will be involved with coaching, with some of the others including USC, Stanford, Pitt and Arizona, all as either a position coach or coordinator. He also was San Jose State's head coach in 1992, going 7-4 before leaving to join the Bears' coaching staff.
 

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Football, Sports

Comments

News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

JimOATSfan wrote on January 04, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Wasn't Turner the offensive co-ordinator for the best Chicago Bear offensive seasons? Don't have a resource to check but I seem to recall that statistically his teams put up the best numbers. Not every season of course.

Got to wonder if Kittner is interested in coaching. Nice warm place to start ...

Cheers!

IlliniHimey wrote on January 04, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Best QB coach, huh?


 


Besides Kurt Kittner, whom did he develop at Illinois?


 


If he was such the great QB guy, why could he not recruit anything resembling QB talent to Illinois?

calvin wrote on January 04, 2013 at 10:01 pm

wait 'til they find out that he can't recruit.......or won't

illinifaningeorgia wrote on January 05, 2013 at 1:01 pm

From a Chicago Tribune article quoting Turner:

"I love working with the young people, going in their homes visiting with their parents or going to their high schools visiting with their coaches, watch them come in as 17- or 18-year-old freshmen and watching them leave 4-5 years later as men."

Huh? One of the reasons the team was lousy at Illinois at the end of his tenure there, was that he got tired of the recruiting part of the job. He was the joke of the B1G at the end when he offered scholarships to D2 and D3 quality players because he wanted to get the recruiting part out of the way as soon as possible.

Maybe he's changed, but I wouldn't bet on it.