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Ron Turner, new FIU head football coach

Former University of Illinois coach Ron Turner will be announced as FIU's coach Friday afternoon.

"I'm excited about everything Pete Garcia and the president (Mark Rosenberg) have been doing to get this thing going," Turner said Thursday night. "Not that it hasn't been successful if you look at the strides made in a short amount of time."

I asked Turner why the return to college coaching when 12 of his last 20 seasons have been in the NFL.

"I love being a head coach," Turner said. "I love the college game. People would ask me which I liked more and I'd tell them, 'Whichever one is where I am.' I love working with young guys as 18 years olds, watcing them grow and leave four years later as men. I've got guys I recruited my first year at Illinois that I still keep in contact with."

Turner was 35-57 in his eight seasons at Illinois, 1997-2004, peaking in 2001 with a 10-1 team that won the Big Ten, then lost the Sugar Bowl. (The Rose Bowl, traditionally Big 10 vs. Pac 12, hosted the Bowl Alliance national championship game with the University of Miami and Nebraska). He said he thought Illinois was on the verge of bouncing back after the 2004 season because of the good young players they had. Ron Zook took over there and after a pair of two-win seasons, went 9-4 in 2007.

Turner said he didnt' have a great amount of experience recruiting South Florida, though they got some players out to go to Illinois, but "we will make every effort to keep local guys here."

Turner, brother of longtime NFL assistant and head coach Norv Turner, spent last season with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers as quarterbacks coach on the same staff with special assistant Butch Davis, long the presumed favorite for the FIU job. According to Ron Turner, this was the only college job he interviewed for this year.

He said though his offensive background tended to be more the so-called West Coast Offense "I believe in pushing the ball down the field and playing up tempo." He said there would be some spread and spread option in his offense, but it wouldn't be exclusively spread. So, yes, FIU fans, you'll be seeing your quarterback under center. Turner said he thought after playing college football in his offense, which incorporates a lot of NFL offensive elements, players would be able to adjust more quickly from college to the NFL. He didn't say this, but that could be a selling point in recruiting, which he has to get hopping on after the American Football Coaches Association convention.




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Ridiculous. This past month makes no sense with this being the end result. PG f'd this one up real good.

Congratulations DJN.. Another tweet from ESPN is again your source. You have gave us 5 different coaches already that were ready to sign. Terrible coverage.

^^^i think DJN may have it right. MC sucked but Turner? Let's see...can't do worse than 3-9 right?

You can't be serious??

I think people need to realize that FIU isn't a prime job so they were going to struggle to get a prime coach... Ron Turner has a history in big time football and maybe he will help the school... I still think Cristobal should have been retained.

B&G, come to the press conference tomorrow and I'll show you the text I got that it was Turner eight minutes before that ESPN tweet. I decided to be, you know, responsible and actually try to confirm it because I got a similar text that your guy Butch was as good as in the house last week? Others, particularly in the electronic field, don't have to be or often care to be so careful.

And judging from your comments, you've done a poor job of reading the blog or whom I've said will or won't be the coach.

David J. Neal=Steven A. Smith..........hahahahaha

Turner????Who???I guess, major disappointment it was not Butch Davis, or even Clozie. No disrespect for against Turner? but what ties do you have to South Florida? How are you going to recruit? I sure hope this is not another spread offence, bc we are no Oregon Ducks.

I hate to be one of the guys who says it, but for this I would rather have Cristobal.....Pete forget about you getting a raise, or a statue. You really messed this one up.

Pete Garcia is a moron and he should be fired on the spot!

We want Mario Cristobal back! what A retard PG is... He hires Isiah Thomas and it doesnt work out...The man has done nothing for the school. Get out!

Fire Pete Garcia!!! You get rid of Cristobal for Ron Turner....Ron Turner?!?!?!?!?! Desperate hire!

He is the brother of Norv Turner and has a lot of NFL experience! Great choice PG! MC was a good recruiter but not very good with X and Os.

Who was it in a previous post that predicted PG would hire somebody's less talented relative with the same last name? Don't be bashful. Stand up and take the bow that you deserve!

I said it would probably be someone with the same last name as a famous father, Norv Turner's brother is really out of left field, I've never heard of him. Hopefully his neck doesn't look like it was set on fire.

Don't know about this Garcia guy. Hope Norv Turner's brother is better than Mario Cristobal...

Says the internet: "Between his two stints with the Bears, Turner spent eight years as head coach at the University of Illinois. His overall record at Illinois was 35 wins and 57 losses, for a winning percentage of .380. The highlight of his tenure came in 2001 when he guided the Illini to a 10–2 record, the Big Ten Conference title, and an appearance in the Sugar Bowl, which Illinois lost to LSU. That season, Turner was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year. His only other winning season was in 1999, when he led the Illini to the Micron PC Bowl.

Turner followed up the successful 2001 campaign with three consecutive losing seasons and was fired. Two of his teams were winless in the Big Ten, going 0–8 in 1997 and again in 2003. Turner is the only coach in the more than 100-year history of Illinois football to lose 11 games in a season, which he also accomplished in those same two seasons. His 1997 team was only the third in school history not to win a single game, going 0-11. Turner presided over three of the top six offenses in Illini history in terms of total yards, while four of his eight Illinois squads currently rank in the school's top 11 for scoring, including the 2001 team that scored a school-record 390 points. Three of the top six all-time leading rushers at Illinois and three of the school's top ten all-time leading receivers played during the Turner era. There were over 20 former Illini who played under Turner on NFL rosters at the end of the 2007 season."

Dan Shula

What a joke Pete Garcia. We got a bottom of the barrell guy to lead this team. Embarassing, Garcia needs to be fired immediately..this firing of MC, search for a new HC made FIU a laughing joke of all NCAA.

How does this pass the sniff test. What's even more embarassing is our President that approved this hiring. What the hell was he looking at.

I'm a loss for words. Its a horrible day to be part of this program.

My sources have confirmed a formal FIU investigation of Pete Garcia for the firing of Mario Cristabol will take place in mid January. Supposedly there is still noise around the alumni-booster supporters from the abrupt firing of I. Thomas on the hoops side of the house.

Just when we thought it couldn't get worse...Garcia hires Turner. Pretty amazing that even washed up, fired ex HCs like Davis, Nutt, Shannon, Hope, Amato that attract a following with their past, wouldn't take this job. Now Garcia looks like a complete fool and takes a NFL guy who has been out of college ball for a while. Btw, when he was in college football, his record is a total joke at 35-57.

What a step back for the program. Garcia you just lost my season ticket purchase.

Someone wake me..it must be a bad dream

Did we just hire an NFL position coach, not a offensive coordinator, from NFL teams that are below average....and hasn't coached college football for 10 years

This can't be true?

OMG we just hired a QB coach that isn't good enough to be an OC in the NFL. Last OC job was under Wanstache, who was fired from the Bears. Outraged!!!

Coaching career (HC unless noted)

Arizona (WR)
Arizona (RB)
Northwestern (QB/WR)
Pittsburgh (QB)
Texas A&M (QB)
Stanford (QB)
San Jose State
Chicago Bears (OC/QB)
Chicago Bears (OC)
Indianapolis Colts (WR)
Indianapolis Colts (QB)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (QB)

Head coaching record

Not a good hire, not a bad hire. He's been a pretty good OC in through his career. The problem is firing MC. That was a terrible move. Please forget big name coaches, FIU isn't a destination, get used to hiring young up and coming college coaches, or older former HC needing a landing place. PG needs to be fired.

Oh and Blue&GoldHeart, please get a clue. You know absolutely nothing, being critical of DJN, then posting your moronic dribble, please.

SPLASH!!!! Couldn't be more disappointed with FIU and AD right now. We waited all of this time and we get Ron Turner. He was the QB coach with the Colts when they had Peyton Manning... I could be Peyton Manning's QB coach and he will still be Peyton Manning. I wish him the best but am so surprised. This couldn't be who we wanted or targeted. I mean wow!!!The president has to be a puppet because anyone with any sense would get rid of the AD. Hope it works out for the players but I just don't see anything good coming out of this one.

No season tickets for me this year

Like I said, even if it is Roary coaching next year...

No season tickets for me + I buy for both sets of parents. Nice work Pete, you just lost 3 season ticket fans, total of 10 seats.

Going back to my roots! U gotta Cane over here!!! WHOOSH WHOOSH!

Go Golden! Lets win a title!

Maybe I'm just trying to fall in love but If I tell you:

A C-USA team just hired a former NFL superbowl OC (who coached up Rex Grossman), a former NFL QB coach, a former HC in the Big10, a former Qb, WR, Rb coach in NCAA.

That would be a good hire.

Strock 2.0

Didn't even get the sidebar on ESPN's College Football page, still strange that they would wait for the championship game, I don't get that.

I stand by two things I have stated in the past: 1) blue&goldheart is a complete fool, and (2) firing cristobal was a huge mistake that will set FIU back 2 or three years.

I don't know anything about Turner so it is way too premature to judge him here. He just may turn out to be a good coach. Let's wait at least one year before shredding him, right?

What a "big name" hire lol. If Cristobal is the worst hire by PG then PG will be the worst hire by FIU if Turner doesn't work out. We pay PG almost triple the salary than most of ADs from Sun Belt and C-USA schools. Did it really have to take a month to hire a HC? What kind of circus show are you trying to run Pete?

Firing Cristobal was not the mistake. Hiring Ron Turner appears to be a mistake. I am disappointing like the rest of you. I hope he brings in a great recruiter and he can focus on the X's and O's and coach up our guys.

Two more items: (1) DJN is a fantastic writer and covers FIU exceptionally well. Thanks DJN, and ignore the foolish insults that have been leveled your way. However, you are human and will screw up eventually. It will be pointed out and you are seasoned enough to handle criticism (you chose your crazy career and are aware of the pitfalls of your profession). (2) while I have disagreed with Buc ind the past, he has been hitting it out of the park with his comments the past few months. I am in agreement with Buc on it being strange that a month went by before Turner was hired. What gives???

DJN: get to work and figure out what happened. I doubt that PG had Turner in mind all along. He could have had Nutt, Coley, Collins, and Hope. All are great recruiters. Why wait until a few hours (sarcasm) before recruit signing day to hire Turner??? And paying Turner a half million? What? He could have hired a lot of big names for 500,000 ?

PG spent the past month recruiting new hookers for his next trip to Vegas. The bum should be lynched then fired for the lousy job he has done.

Love, Love, LOVE the hire. Ron Turner is a proven commodity and is uber respected in the football community. Who are you going to take a scholarship from, that loser Golden with his tie girly looks, or a NFL stud that has been there, done that! Yeah, that's what I thought. Only a matter of time before FIU is out-recruiting UM. I just bought 6 season tickets this morning because of the news! Great job Pete Garcia! Looking forward to many years of success for the FIU football program. Go Panthers!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! FIU FANS!! We finally get a coach... REALLY?? Is that what we are going to call him?? Please do not call me for the renewal of my season tickets...Or should I renew just to see PG looking GQ on the sideline... did the skinny jeans stop the air from going to the brain and making wise decisions?? I'm just saying!!

A little about the overpaid athletic director who just hired Tina Turner....

1. Garcia was supposed to have been fired by FIU. There are documents that existed, according to former employees, and which FIU has failed to provide. David has received the runaround.

2. Garcia is buddies with the chairman of the board of trustees, who has a bad reputation himself. These two are of the same questionable character.

3. Garcia's former assistant left FIU in a cloud of scandal and was paid hush money by former president Madique. Everyone who worked inside FIU Athletics knows of this. There were several allegations of abuse and harrassment that would have hurt the university big time if handled in the legal system.

4. Garcia failed to inform Cristobal about the loss of scholarships when Cristobal accepted the job.

5. Garcia did the same with the new basketball coach. Go ask Richard Pitino.

6. Cristobal had no financial resources for the football program. He had to scrape together pennies to pay his assistants. It was expected that the top talent in the coaching rankes would be poached. Nobody would stay and work for the salaries paid, all of which are under 100k a year for what amounts to work around the clock.

7. The current recruits and their families are angry. They feel as if FIU has taken them for a ride. Other programs have already filled their coaching vacancies. FIU's inability to do so speaks to problems that exist within the athletic department.

8. Attendance is the responsibility of Pete Garcia and sports marketing. They earn an F for their work.

9. Cristobal will move on to greatness. We will be left with a program in shambles. Butch Davis? Not a chance. Another broken down coach on the way down? Possibly. More likely it will be an inexpensive coach on the way up.

1. neal has received the runaround from fiu on garcia's personnel file because fiu board of trustees chairman albert maury is garcia's party buddy. maury greased the independent firm brought in to evaluate garcia. the independent firm recommended fiu fire garcia due to his poor performance as ad.

2. maury and garcia take the leon medical center plane to las vegas for booze-filled weekends with hookers. leon donated $10 million to fiu medical school.

3. sandra perdomo put up with garcia's abuse until she had enough. perdomo complained to madique and left fiu.

4. hey cristobal congratulations on becoming the golden panthers coach. by the way you will be missing scholarships.

5. hey pitino congratulations on your first head coaching job. by the way you will be missing scholarships.

6. i heard about those football team flights on small planes that were overweight and delayed the golden panthers arrival before games this season.

7. butch davis did not become the golden panthers next coach. this coaching search the past month has been a sham hoping davis will reconsider fiu after his lawyer said he would not take the fiu job.

8. don't forget fundraising is also the ad's responsibility and there has been none done by ad.
9. garcia's tenure as fiu ad has been a trainwreck. he hired turner because garcia could not get butch and so he settled for butch's recommendation of turner, who has a terrible coaching record.

and forget about president Rosenberg doing anything about this because Maury and Garcia have the prez in a corner with Maury being the chair of the FIU board of trustees and Maury also being Leon's son in law. Leon medical center donated $10 million to FIU medical school

So we are to believe that the AD, with plenty of time to think it all through, fired the basically competent and popular head coach he had, knowing that the school would be on the hook for his salary, and without some glittering hot shot in the wings set to take the job? This just doesn't add up, DJN. Either the AD really does have a screw loose or there is something about the story that has not been revealed--some horrendous blow up between Coach and AD or some promise reneged upon by above mentioned hot shot. On the other hand, what is the point of anyone spending a lot of time trying to find out, I suppose--who beyond the couple dozen of us who write in from time to time seem to care? I just like to watch the games and appreciate it all the more when the players, despite the fact that they are generally not quite as talented or as big as those in the FBS, are well conditioned, seem motivated, and are cleverly coached. None of the above was much in evidence this past season, by the way, and this is not in my mind a debatable contention, all talk of injury and "close games" aside.

WOW.. we hired an x's and O's NFL OC who runs a West coast offense and got rid off a former OL coach with No X's and O's experience. Well, sorry, he did have his tecmo bowl offense he ran for the last 4 years.
I will take my chances with RT and SEC 112 will renew..

See you in the stands, Roary. And good luck and best wishes to Norv's brother. Seems like he will need it. And say, now that Norv has time on his hands, maybe he can come down and lend a hand. Very clever of you, Pete.

Why all the hoopla with Cristobal's contract extension and pay raise in July-2011? All that did was make firing Cristobal more expensive now.

Candidates like Turner were just the same available back in July-2011.

If PG and Cristobal had a personality clash, why not just work together to make Cristobal seem marketable for the next college coaching vacancy. This would've been better for Cristobal's imagine; would've shown other coaching prospects that FIU can actually help an up & coming coach's ambitions; and would've given FIU a Cristobal exit without these financial liabilities.

So now FIU pays the pockets of both Cristobal and Turner, and there's no way anyone can argue that is the best use of FIU's limited money.

All very logical, FIU Numbers Game. What does that suggest to you?

Good luck to Ron Turner! Offense will definitely improve and defense can't get any worse than Orlando. Make it happen!!! You bring more gameday HC experience than MC(3-9 last yr), hopefully you learned from your past.

Who cares what people think, just win baby.

First and foremost, please refer to Mr. Pete Garcia by his official title: Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment (please note sarcastic underpinning here).

Second: Patrick Bateman - though there are small gaps in your analysis, your comments still made my day.

Third, and most importantly: All of this goes waaaaaay beyond football ... Firing of Coach Strock. Firing of Coach Price. Firing of Coach Thomas. Firing of Coach Munga. Firing of Coach Cristobal. Firing of inumerable Athletics staff. -- oh, excuse me, "going in another direction" -- what's the common denominator??!!! With all due respect to the Rosenberg haters, it sure as heck isn't him!

With that said, as a fellow FIU fan, I can only hope this all works out -- in the end.

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