coaching staff

Ralph Turner, Head Coach (Year-By-Year Coaching Records)

Turner, a 1979 graduate of David Lipscomb University, enters his tenth season as head coach of the Bulldogs. Coach Turner has led the Bulldogs to five NAIA National Tournaments in his nine years as head coach. Turner’s career coaching record at Union University is 214-97.

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, he serves 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 Championship Tournament Committee that organizes the men's national basketball tournament in Kansas City, Missouri. Turner also is on the NAIA All-American Committee.

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 camps.

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 the best Bulldog team Union has ever had, but for those individuals to be the best people Union has ever had as well.

He and wife, Sherrie, have two daughters, Andrea and Alison, ages 18 and 16.

David Niven, Assistant Coach

David Niven, a 1996 graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, begins his seventh 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.

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.

During the 1997 season, while assistant coach at Oklahoma Baptist, 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.

In his six years as assistant for the Bulldogs, Union has been to the NAIA National Tournament five times, including an Elite Eight appearance in 1999. Union has averaged 27 wins per year since 1997. Since becoming the full-time assistant, Niven has taken on the majority of the recruiting efforts for the Bulldogs. As a coach, he tries to bring in athletes that will represent Union well on and off the court. Graduating players is his top priority. Seeing each player leave with a diploma is a goal he has set for each student athlete he signs.

On August 9, 2003, Niven was married to the former Mandy Beth Wells of Sallisaw, Oklahoma.

Michael Katrosh, Graduate Assistant Coach

Michael Katrosh begins his first season as a graduate assistant for Union after spending his past four seasons as a player for the Bulldogs. Katrosh is a native of Bolivar, Missouri and is the son of John and Judy Katrosh. He graduated from Union in May of 2003 with a degree in Sports Management. He is currently pursuing a masters degree in Education from Union.

During his playing career, Union went to three NAIA National Tournaments, including two Sweet Sixteen appearances. Katrosh was a two-year starter at point guard and was also a two-time NAIA Academic All-American. He was the starting point guard on the 2002 TranSouth Conference Championship team. In his career at Union, Katrosh scored 638 points and dished out 305 assists.

Student Assistants

Year-By-Year Coaching Records
(1969 to Present)

Year Coach Record
2002-03 Ralph Turner 17-15
2001-02 Ralph Turner 31-5
2000-01 Ralph Turner 24-12
1999-00 Ralph Turner 25-9
1998-99 Ralph Turner 35-3
1997-98 Ralph Turner 30-5
1996-97 Ralph Turner 22-11
1995-96 Ralph Turner 18-15
1994-95 Ralph Turner 12-22
1993-94 Rick McCormick 14-18
1992-93 Rick McCormick 21-10
1991-92 Rick McCormick 19-15
1990-91 Rick McCormick 17-15
1989-90 Rick McCormick 17-16
1988-89 Bob Ward 18-16
1987-88 Bob Ward 12-18
1986-87 Jim Swope 20-11
1985-86 Jim Swope 17-13
1984-85 Jim Swope 14-14
1983-84 Jim Swope 18-12
1982-83 Jim Swope 9-19
1981-82 Jim Swope 13-17
1980-81 Jim Swope 15-13
1979-80 Jim Swope 15-15
1978-79 Jim Swope 20-8
1977-78 Jim Swope 20-11
1976-77 Jim Swope 13-12
1975-76 Jim Swope 11-15
1974-75 Jim Simmons 8-17
1973-74 Jim Simmons 11-17
1972-73 Jim Simmons 10-14
1971-72 Jim Simmons 12-13
1970-71 Bill Henry 15-9
1969-70 Bill Henry 15-12


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