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FIU hires former Illinois coach Ron Turner

Ron Turner, Josh Freeman AP

Slightly less than one month to the day after firing head coach Mario Cristobal, FIU has found its new guy.

Per ESPN’s Brett McMurphy and the Associated PressTampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks coach and former Illinois coach Ron Turner will be FIU’s new coach. Athletic director Pete Garcia later said Turner signed a five-year contract  with a base salary of $500,000 annually.

“This guy knows football,” Garcia said. “He’s the best quarterback coach in America, college or pro. So I’m very excited to get this guy. He’s one of the best offensive minds in America. This guy’s a total package. He can do it all.”

Personally, we’d say this hire doesn’t make a lot sense, but FIU fired Mario Cristobal. So, really it makes total sense.

Turner’s college experience included head coaching stops at San Jose State and Illinois. Though Turner led the Illini to a Big Ten title in 2001, he had just four wins in his final two years and was eventually replaced by Ron Zook.

In the NFL, Turner held two separate stints as the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears and was Peyton Manning‘s coach with the Indianapolis Colts.

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5 Responses to “FIU hires former Illinois coach Ron Turner”
  1. mdac1012 says: Jan 4, 2013 8:21 AM

    I think the A.D. Pete Garcia overestimated the level of interest and the caliber of candidate he could attract for this job. When he fired Mario Cristobal he said he wanted a “big name” hire, this isn’t it. I know he targeted Butch Davis, and the money didn’t work because of his N.C. buyout, but if you want a big name, you have to be prepared to pay for one.

    Turner is 19 games under .500 as a head coach, and has never really distinguished himself as a OC or QB coach. Maybe Garcia feels that hiring a veteran NFL coach, who runs Norv Turner’s offense will attract “pro” level talent from south florida.

    This is the type of hire that makes an A.D. either look like a genius or gets him fired.

  2. cubano76 says: Jan 4, 2013 8:59 AM

    Yup. Their screwed.

  3. hor2012 says: Jan 4, 2013 10:50 AM

    I remember watch Ron Turner’s team play LSU in the Sugar Bowl one year. And, I’ve got to say I was impressed. His Teams always played hard. I think that fans of FIU are going to be pleasently surprised at how well this works out

  4. metalhead65 says: Jan 4, 2013 11:49 AM

    maybe they thought they were getting his brother norv and ended up with this clown instead. both are losers but at least norv knows offense and can call plays. aside from his lousy record at Illinois didn’t anyone watch him when he coached the bears offense? just awful and took one of the best young qb’s in the game when the bears got Jay Cutler and refused to incorporate any of the things he did well into his offense. his idea of a big play was a screen pass to Devin Hester and on 3rd. down you can count on him calling a play that is 1 yard short of what they need.

  5. westlaw1 says: Jan 4, 2013 5:58 PM

    LOL, I was sprees reading and thought it said – Ron Zook. Made me stop for a closer look.

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