Office Phone: 731-661-5286
Turner, a 1979 graduate of David
Lipscomb University, is now in his 12th season as the head coach of the
Bulldogs. Coach Turner has led the Bulldogs to seven NAIA National Tournaments
in his 11 years as head coach. Turner’s career coaching record at Union
University is 262-116. Turner has led the Union Bulldogs to four TranSouth
Regular Season and Tournament Championships (1998, 1999, 2002, 2005) in his 11
years as head coach.
Turner began his coaching career at
the junior high and high school level in Georgia and Tennessee before moving to
the collegiate level at Oklahoma Christian University. Returning to his Alma
Mater, Turner served as an assistant coach at Lipscomb for nine years, winning
an NAIA National Championship in 1986. Then in 1994, Turner accepted his first
college head coaching position at Union University. In his career, he has
coached college basketball’s all-time leading scorer, all-time assists leader,
all-time steals leader, and all-time leading shot blocker. He has coached 26
NAIA All-Americans in his career and has had 13 players to take their talents to
the professional level.
In addition to his coaching duties
at Union University, has served on the USA Basketball Selection Committee. This
committee selects players to represent the United States in the World Games,
Pan-Am Games, and other International events. Turner also takes his knowledge of
basketball to the national level by serving on the NAIA All-American Committee
and the NAIA Championship Tournament Committee that organizes the men’s national
basketball tournament in Kansas City, Missouri. He also has served as the NAIA
National Rater for the TranSouth Conference.
Under the guidance of Turner, summer
basketball camps at Union University have continued to grow. Through Turner’s
hard work and dedication, Union averages over 1,500 boys and girls during the
Turner’s goal for the men’s
basketball program is more than concentrating on the score of a game. His desire
is to not only see that his players be a part of the best teams that Union has
ever had, but for those individuals to be the best people Union has ever had.
He and wife, Sherrie, have two
daughters, Andrea, a sophomore at Union, and Allison, a senior at Jackson
Office Phone: 731-661-5132
David Niven, a 1996 graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University,
begins his ninth season as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs after spending
the 1996-97 season as an assistant coach at Oklahoma Baptist. In his first two
seasons at Union, Niven served as a volunteer assistant coach, and then became
full-time in 1999.
During his time at Union, Niven has assumed the responsibility
of coordinating the recruiting efforts for the Bulldogs. He has recruited and
signed numerous All-Americans, as well as, the 2002 NAIA Player of the Year, but
the statistic he is most proud of is the 24 players that have graduated during
his time as their academic advisor.
Niven spent his playing career at OBU and finished with a
four-year career record 121-24. In those four years, he played on teams that
were ranked No. 1 in the NAIA, advanced to the NAIA National Championship game,
and two Final Fours. He also became the first player to help lead the Bison to
four consecutive national tournaments. While at OBU in 1997, as assistant coach
for the Bison, Niven received his Master of Education degree from East Central
University in Ada, Oklahoma. He received valuable coaching experience as the
Bison went 36-4 and made it to the 1997 NAIA National Championship Finals.
Niven is married to the former Mandy Beth Wells of Sallisaw,
Chima Abakwue joins the Union coaching staff this season as he
works toward his masters degree and teaching licenses. Abakwue, of Cedar Hill,
Texas, was a four-year starter for the Bulldogs from 2001-04.
Since graduating from Union, Abakwue has spent some time with
the Harlem Ambassadors and also with the World Basketball Association’s
While at Union, Abakwue set numerous three-point records. He set
the record for three pointers made in a season (134), three-pointers made in a
game (10), and three pointers made in a career (401). Over his four years at
Union, Abakwue scored 1,834 points and shot an amazing .405 (401-991) from
behind the arc. He led the TranSouth Conference in three pointers made in three
of the four seasons he play for Union.
Abakwue earned several honors as well. He was named to the
TranSouth All-Conference team in 2002 and 2004, and the TranSouth All-Freshman
team in 2001. As a senior, Abakwue was named an NAIA All-American in 2004.
In high school at Grace Prep Academy, Abakwue was the Dallas area leading scorer
and the private school player of the year. He averaged 26 points, seven
rebounds, four assists, and two steals per game. Abakwue was named All-District
and All-State his senior year.