Morrie Turner Joins South Carolina Track & Field Coaching Staff
COLUMBIA, S.C. (August 21, 2023) – First-year head coach Tim Hall has announced the hiring of Morrie Turner as an assistant coach within the Gamecock Track & Field program. Turner will focus on the 400-meter sprints, relays and will also oversee the intermediate hurdles.
“Morrie is one of the best up and coming sprint coaches in the country,” stated Hall. “His body of work at the NCAA Championships was second to none and proves he’s well prepared for the challenge. I’m thrilled to have him as a member of our staff.”
“I’m incredibly excited to be a part of the Gamecock family and to work alongside the top track & field staff in the country,” stated Turner. “I’m grateful for Tim Hall, a true pillar in our sport, whose inspiration I’ve drawn from for a long time.”
Turner arrives in Columbia after a two-year stint with Alabama State where he coached the sprinters and was named Associate Head Coach prior to the 2022-23 campaign. Turner coached the 4x100m men’s relay team to the NCAA Finals where they ran the 16th fastest relay time in NCAA history en route to earning All-American status. In fact, Alabama State was the only non-Power 5 team in the country to qualify both relays for the National Championship in Austin, Texas.
Turner’s sprinters swept the 2023 SWAC Outdoor Championship in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m and the 4x400m – the only Division I school in the country to complete that task at their conference meet. Under his guidance, his sprinters accounted for 98 of the men’s 144 points at the SWAC Championship, leading the Hornets to their 58th Outdoor SWAC title. He also coached 11 participants at the NCAA Regional event, the most qualifiers in Alabama State history. During the 2023 indoor season, Turner led the Hornets to sweeping both the men and women’s SWAC Indoor Championship, accomplishing four school records along the way. He also oversaw Taranique Alexander who was named SWAC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year.
Before his time in Montgomery, Ala., Turner served as the Associate Head Coach at Coffeyville Community College from 2019-2021. He successfully coached seven Region VI Conference Champions in his two-year stint, while also coaching the conference’s Field Athlete of the Meet in Henry Kiner. In 2021, his sprinters finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the NJCAA 60m rankings which had never been done before leading up to the National Championship. His 60m event group ran an average of 6.71 seconds in the 60m, the fastest event squad in NJCAA history since the USTFCCCA began doing squad rankings.
Turner also spent time at Rogers State University (2014-19) where he built the track & field program from the ground up, coaching 29 Great-American Conference Champions and overseeing 113 All-Great-American Conference honors. Turner’s team achieved nine USTFCCCA South Central All-Regional honors and nine NCAA All-Americans between the indoor and outdoor seasons. By 2018, Rogers State ranked inside the NCAA Division II Top-25 rankings, thanks in large part to the sprints group.
In all, Turner has coached 50 USTFCCCA All-Americans and has coached six Major Championship qualifiers, including Tokyo Paralympic Games and the Olympic Trials. Turner has coached the likes of Victor Smith, Guinove Joanus, Tanner Wright, Nolton Shelvin and Matthew Clarke. Wright earned a spot on the 2021 US Paralympic roster, finishing 4th in the open 400m, just one position shy of medaling at the 2021 Tokyo Games.
Turner earned his Associates of Arts from Hinds Community College, later earning his Bachelors in Recreation Administration from Oral Roberts. Turner wrapped up his education with a Masters in Sport Administration from Concordia University-Irvine.
Turner now resided in Columbia with his wife Ericka and their three sons: Morrie (MJ), Maddox and Michael.