April 19, 2007

Turner wants State to be last stop

After 19 years of making his rounds around the college football ranks, David Turner finds himself in a position that he never imagined, the defensive line coach at Mississippi State University. Turner, who has worked in the NFL, Big Ten, ACC, and SEC during his career, is hoping this stop in Starkville would be his last.

The departure of former defensive line coach Brick Haley right before spring practice was a scary thought to some. Because of the timing of the departure and the surrounding question marks about what was going on with Coach Croom and his staff, many thought hiring a defensive line coach to fill Coach Haley's shoes would be a difficult task. After leaving his mark as a Bulldog coach, Coach Haley showed some loyalty to the Bulldog program and already had a plan in the works just in case he would be able to move to the next level.

"Obviously at the end of last year, Alabama let Coach Shula go, and we all had to scatter and find jobs. I've been knowing Brick for a while, my wife and his wife were roommates in college; we go way back. We were talking and he mentioned the job about Chicago coming up. Coach Harbison called me, we were together at Alabama, and Coach McCorvey, whom I have known a long time gave me a call; I had three different guys calling me at once about the possibility of coming here.

"I had talked to some other schools about jobs, but nothing had come through at that point and time; I think some things probably would have come about a little bit later. The opportunity here, knowing Coach Croom's reputation, having Coach Cheese over here, and knowing Coach McCorvey, was very appealing, if Brick was going to leave. Being about 85 miles from Tuscaloosa was going to be the best thing for me and my family, if the position came open, because I could drive back and forth and see them when I wanted to and stuff like that.

"Everything happened in the span of about 24 hours; coach called me on a Wednesday and wanted me to come over Thursday. I sat in his office for about ten minutes, he offered me the job and spring practice was starting on Monday. I had to hit the ground running. The good thing about it, I knew a bunch of guys here; I knew Coach McCorvey, Coach Cheese, and Coach Johnson, I felt like I knew because he and Cheese worked together at Clemson, and I knew Coach Washington also. It was not a situation where I was coming in and I was the new guy, and I did not know anybody; it was guys that I felt comfortable with, and guys that I was excited to coach with, and it was a good situation and it worked out.

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