Jack Turner resigned as head football coach at Pulaski County High School Thursday afternoon. Turner was the coach of the Cougars for seven years, following coaching legend Joel Hicks, who had been the mentor for 24 years beginning in 1979.
With preseason practice just five weeks away, Turner’s resignation came at a surprising time. Even though it is so close to the 2010 season, he believes it was the right time.
"Everything is in place for the upcoming season,” Turner said. “I made sure that everything was ready to go. The kids have had a great off-season.
“I feel really good about next year’s team. The kids have worked really hard. I have great expectations for them. The coaching staff is also in place, and I want to stress that the staff has been terrific, and will carry on without missing a step. I’m totally confident in the ability of the men on that staff.”
Turner took over the reigns of the program in 2003. He finishes his career at Pulaski with an overall record of 42-33. His teams qualified for the state playoffs in 2005, 2007, and 2008. In order by season, Turner’s program went 6-4, 8-2, 5-5, 2-8, 7-4, 12-1, and 2-8.
His career highlight was the 2008 season, in which his team posted a perfect 10-0 regular season, and lost in the final seconds of the state semi-final game to Amherst. He posted four winning seasons, three losing seasons, and one 5-5 season.
It was a tough decision for Turner, but he feels it was the right one.
"I’ve got two young children that are growing up fast, and I need to spend time with them,” Turner said. “I’ve also got a couple of personal reasons that will remain private. We’ve had some ups and downs, but I’ll remember the good times. We haven’t always been the luckiest team either, but that’s just the way it goes.”
Turner will miss coaching the Cougars, but he says he has no regrets, will be the team’s biggest fan, and will always remember with pride his years in the program.
"I grew up in Pulaski County, and all I ever wanted to be was a Cougar football player.” Turner said. “I loved playing for Pulaski County, and I loved coaching Pulaski County’s football team. I loved working with the players. I will always be a Pulaski County Cougar, and would never want to be anything else. I made this decision, and it wasn’t something that just happened in the last couple of days. It’s something that has been building up over time. I think now is the right time. No time would have ever been easy, but now at least I’ll be home in time for supper.”
Turner also said that he would be remaining on the faculty at Pulaski County High School.
"I will continue to teach,” he said. “I am thankful to the school system for allowing me to continue to be a part of the faculty even though I am no longer going to coach. I look forward to the coming years at the school and I wish the football program all the best.”
The new head coach should be named quickly at Pulaski County, as the new football season is fast approaching. However, at this time, no official decision has been made. Rodney Landreth, Scott Vest, Vaughn Phipps, Greg Allen, Eric Berry, Buddy Ratcliffe, Randy Dunnigan, J.W. Smith, and "R” Ratcliffe remain on the varsity coaching staff.
A press release from the Pulaski County School System, bearing Wednesday’s date, states that Turner indicated his decision to resign was “made for personal and family reasons.”
The release notes that PCHS will begin an immediate search for a new head football coach.
“I would like to thank Coach Turner for his many years of dedication and service to Pulaski County High School and to Cougar football. I look forward to continuing to work with Coach Turner in his role as a classroom teacher,” PCHS Principal Rod Reedy is quoted as saying in the school system’s press release.