(And people criticize NC State fans for being crazy?)
As an NC State fan, I firmly share the educated perspective that Todd Turner will forever be one of the two men MOST responsible for the destruction of NC State athletics in the 1990s that has contributed to a long-term deterioriation of our program that has proven too much to handle for the sub-par so-called ‘leaders’ who have succeeded the Turner/Larry Monteith era.
Turner left NC State for Vanderbilt in 1996; and Vanderbilt for Washington in 2003.
Today, Turner abruptly ‘resigned’ as AD at Washington succumbing to pressure from a tenuous relationship with Husky fans originating from the dichotomy of fans’ desire to win and Turner’s propsensity to ignore competition and results.
Sound familiar? Well, it seems the only thing different from that experience at Washington from that experience at NC State is that at Washington Turner gets fired and at NC State Turner never had one ounce of pressure exerted on him from the University.
Similar to the recent developments at Nebraska where the University held the Athletics Director accountable for the performance within his athletics department, Turner ultimately becomes a casualty of accountability from leadership and fans that the NC State community can only covet with extreme jealousy. It’s more than a little telling that Turner has been pushed out of two consecutive jobs in major conferences after his time at NC State where – despite the plight of our Athletics Department under his leadership – he was never pressured to leave and seemed to have one of those ‘jobs for life’ that are so prevelant in West Raleigh.
The legacy of Todd Turner, and his deficiency as an ATHLETICS Director, is manifested in the irony of his perceived disinterest in fielding winning ATHLETICS programs. Remember, this is a guy who had to lie on his resume about earning golf letter while in college to earn some ‘athletics cred.’ (If only his name had been George O’Leary he would have been out of a job. Again…ONLY at NC State).
Ultimately, every stop of Turner’s career can be summed-up from this 2003 article in The Tennessean about the Vanderbilt Athletics Department under Turner’s leadership:
Fan support has dipped not only for football, but for basketball as well over the last few years. Even the attendance by the school’s 6,319 students has been down .
(sarcasm alert) The good news for all of us is that we will all be seeing a lot more of Toddy in the near future. I can’t wait for UNC-Chapel Hill to now hire Turner to replace Phil Baddour. You see, throughout the 1990s the Tar heel faithful extolled the virtues of Les Robinson and Todd Turner and constantly told us all how wonderful the two were. Imagine our shock when the Carolina basketball Head Coaching job has turned over three times since Robinson left Raleigh without him becoming a candidate a single time?
Well, surely the Heels won’t make the same mistake twice and let another member of the dynamic duo slip through their fingers?! In light of Turner’s 1973 degree from “Chapel Hill” we see no reason why “Toddy” shouldn’t immediately be installed into a leadership role in Orange County by CD Spangler and all of the Tar heels that are on record with their high opinions of Turner.
The following are some comments from today’s announcement:
Washington athletic director Todd Turner abruptly announced his resignation Tuesday, effective next month.
The surprising move came six days after university president Dr. Mark Emmert retained coach Tyrone Willingham despite the football team’s continued struggles. Turner was a staunch advocate for Willingham.
Turner, 56, said his resignation would be effective Jan. 31. Emmert hired him in 2004, when Washington’s athletic department was reeling from a series of controversies.
Turner did not immediately return a call to his cell phone seeking comment, and his office referred questions to the school’s sports information department. That department announced Emmert would hold a late-morning news conference to discuss the change.
Turner was in the middle of a five-year contract worth $325,000 in base salary, with incentives that made the package potentially worth up to $420,000 annually. He had also received a low-interest, $475,000 home loan from the university
You can click here to see some recent quotes from Turner.
As you may remember, Turner did such a bang-up job as the Athletics Director at Vanderbilt from 1996-2003 that the University disbanded its entire athletics program and rolled it into the University’s intramural program in 2003. That’s right. Turner was literally replaced by the guy running intramurals.