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2 posts from January 4, 2013

January 04, 2013

Turn on the Telly? Ring Bell?

New FIU football coach Ron Turner's not stupid. He knows current recruits were still in their action figure stage the last time he sat in a recruit's home to close the deal. He knows he doesn't have much of a reputation in South Florida among high school coaches.

That's why Turner said to me Thursday night he knows his staff has to include some "guys with Florida connections, guys high school coaches can trust." He also said he wants a diverse staff in every way.

Among the calls from Dade and Broward Turner's probably getting as I'm writing this, he should probably check for a couple of numbers. One belongs to Central High coach and Northwestern High graudate Telly Lockette. Lockette's Rockets just won their second state title in three years, have three consecutive state title game appearances and would've had four but for a semifinal loss to eventual state champion Miramar in 2009.

Granted, Lockette's working with an overabundance of talent at Central and he wouldn't have the same talent advantage at FIU. But he'll be able to help recruit that talent as well as anyone.

The same could be said for Corey Bell, an Edison High and South Carolina defensive back who coached at his high school alma mater for 10 years before going to the University of Miami as part of Randy Shannon's staff. Bell's at American High now.

Reaction to "Ron Turner, FIU football coach"

Judging from Twitter, this comments section and the text messages hitting my phone, this sums up the response from FIU fans in general and some in the football industry...


The following statements were released by FIU and are presented without comment:

Former University of Miami and Cleveland Browns coach Butch Davis: “I believe that Ron Turner is an outstanding hire for the FIU football program. Ron brings leadership experience and is a man of character. He has a successful and proven track record as a head coach in college and an excellent background from the NFL.” 

Denver Broncos and former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning: "FIU has made an excellent decision in naming Ron Turner as its head coach. He was an important part of the offensive staff with the Colts during his two years with the team. I respect his knowledge of the game and his passion for coaching. I'm happy for him and wish him all the best at FIU." 

Former Univerwsity of Pittsburgh quarterback John Congemi, now a television color analyst: “I’ve known Ron Turner for over 25 years and was very fortunate to have him as my coach at the University of Pittsburgh. Not only did Coach mold me into a quality quarterback, he molded me into the person I am today. He is one of the coaches, if I had a son who was a prospective football player; I would not hesitate to send him to FIU now that Ron Turner is their head coach. I know what he brings to the table, not just as a college football coach, but a mentor of young men. He will do a fine a job at FIU and I wish him nothing but best.”

 Chicago Bears kick returner Devin Hester: “Coach Turner was one of the greatest mentors to have when I first came into the National Football League and over the following seasons. The players at FIU will learn a lot from him and no question will have great success in the years to come.”

Kurt Kittner, University of Illinois quarterback on Turner's 2001 Big Ten championship team: "Coach Turner...has a great mind for football. He turned the program around from the bottom of the Big Ten to the top by the time I was a senior. He knows how to get the most out of his players, which is the most important job for a coach. He is a family man and a great friend. He makes the players he brings in feel like they are part of his family. It goes beyond football for him. It is a great hire for the university. FIU is going in the right direction hiring Coach Turner."




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