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Turner steps down as Union men’s basketball coach

Ralph Turner led the Bulldogs to a 362-151 record during his 15 years as head coach.
Ralph Turner led the Bulldogs to a 362-151 record during his 15 years as head coach.

JACKSON, Tenn.March 30, 2009 – Union University men’s basketball coach Ralph Turner has announced his resignation after 15 years of leading the Bulldogs.

“This past week Coach Turner and I reached a mutual decision that we believe is in the best interest for Coach Turner and for the university as a whole,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “We both believe that it is best at this time for the Union University men’s basketball program to move in a new direction.”

Dockery expressed his appreciation and gratitude for Turner and his leadership over the past 15 years.

“We are thankful for the many good things that have taken place in the men’s basketball program during Coach Turner’s tenure, including the numerous conference championships and the national tournament appearances. We are particularly grateful for the quality young men who have participated in this program. We offer our very best wishes to Coach Turner in days ahead.”

A 1979 graduate of David Lipscomb University, Turner compiled a 362-151 record during his time at Union. He led the Bulldogs to 10 NAIA national tournaments and six TranSouth regular season and tournament championships.

This year, the NAIA and the National Association of Basketball Coaches named Tuner the NAIA Division I men’s basketball coach of the year.

“I will always be grateful for the time I spent at Union University,” Turner said. “The Union family has been a great blessing to me. Dr Dockery’s leadership, my co-workers and most of all the many kids who I was blessed to coach and teach will always hold a special place in my heart.

“I am confident that the Lord will continue to work and to bless Union and myself in the future,” Turner continued. “I am excited to see what God has in store for both of us.”

David Niven, who has served as assistant coach for the Union program for the past 12 years, has been named the acting head coach. Dockery said he anticipated hiring a permanent head coach in the near future, as soon as he had the chance to consult with athletic department personnel, university administrators and trustee leaders.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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