Former National Coach of the Year hired as new men’s basketball coach

Former National Coach of the Year hired as new men’s basketball coach

Former Union University (Tenn.) head coach Ralph Turner becomes just sixth head coach in program history.

PUEBLO, Colo. ( – Mar. 28, 2011) – Former Union University head coach and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC)/NAIA Coach of the Year, Ralph Turner, has been hired as the new head men's basketball coach at Colorado State University-Pueblo, athletic director Joe Folda announced Wednesday.

Turner, who served as head coach at Union from 1994 to 2009, is the school's all-time wins leader with 362 wins in his 15 years at helm of Bulldogs' basketball program.  In his time at Union, he had led teams to the NAIA national tournament nine times and won six TranSouth Conference championships.  His teams made it to the NAIA Elite Eight twice and to the NAIA Sweet 16 five times.  He has also coached 17 All-Americans, including 2002 NAIA National Player of the Year, Robert Joseph. 

Prior to his time at Union, he was the assistant coach at NAIA powerhouse, Lipscomb (Tenn.) University, where he tutored under NAIA Hall of Fame coach, Don Meyer, and helped lead Lipscomb to the 1986 national championship.  A Lipscomb alum, Turner was most recently the head coach at Ripley High School in Ripley, Tenn.

Turner replaces Patrick Eberhart, who resigned the head coaching position in early March after six years at the helm.  He is the product of a national search that produced numerous 20-game winners and conference champions at the collegiate level.

"The quality of the finalists for this position was amazing, and it was an extremely hard decision to choose the very best candidate," Folda said.  "But Ralph's resume speaks for itself.  He has worked with some of the giants in our profession and has a track record of winning year in and year out.  We have no doubt that he can turn our program into the quality program we all believe it could be."

"I'm excited about the opportunity to join the ThunderWolf family and come to a great school and a great conference," Turner said.  "This is obviously a place that you'll have a chance to win championships, as [head women's basketball coach Kip Drown] has proven.  Working under [former men's basketball coach and current athletic director] Joe Folda, who has won here, will be helpful and exciting."

Turner will be formally introduced as the ThunderWolves' head coach in a press conference on Monday, April 4 at 3 p.m. in Massari Arena.  Turner will begin his duties at CSU-Pueblo on April 4.