FORT MILL — After a brief hiatus back as boys’ basketball coach, Nation Ford’s Brian Turner is again turning in his whistle to concentrate on his family and his duties as the school’s athletic director.
Turner, who took over the job in January 2011 after the removal of then-coach Donnie Holland, said the time was right for him to step down and hand the reins to someone else.
“From a personal note, my son (Nick) is graduating and my daughter (Chanel) is an incoming freshman,” he said. “The timing is right...if you are looking for a time to have one phase of your life to end and another begin. I want to make sure I am there for her.”
Turner’s daughter plays three sports and he said he would like to have more time to see her compete. He also added that it’s hard to be both AD and head basketball coach with having a lot to juggle and no additional hours in the day to do it.
“It’s difficult when you have a school this size to be AD and commit the time you need to be head coach of a sport,” he said.
“If you really want to do a good job at being a head coach you are going to spend all your free time doing the little extra things like watching film, scouting, spending all your free time focusing on one sport and as AD – I can’t do that. You like to think you can do it all, but there is a time where you realize you can’t do it all. I am tired and burned out a little bit.”
Turner, who went 34-30 at the helm of the boys’ team, led Nation Ford to the playoffs all three seasons he was coach and accomplished a lot, including turning around a potentially disastrous 2010-11 season to guide the team to a Region championship.
Last season, the Falcons picked up their first playoff win in boys’ basketball and made it to the 4A playoffs this season for the first time, where they lost to South Pointe in the opening round (see related story).
“We have made a lot of accomplishments in the program,” Turner said. “We have got it to a certain level. The next coach can expound upon that.
“I have enjoyed every minute of it. Love the relationships I have with the kids. We were trying to start new traditions, start new first - first winning season, first region championships, first playoff, first playoff win. Those are fun. Most people can’t do the first. Most people come in the job they are following somebody. So it was neat to set a standard, set a bench mark for basketball and athletically as athletic director. No regrets.”
Turner came from Fort Mill High to become AD at Nation Ford when it opened in 2007, but quickly got back into coaching, taking over the girls’ varsity program for the 2008-09 season on an interim basis. He didn’t miss a beat as he led the team to a 17-7 record and a Region title in his only year with them.
He then agreed to become Holland assistant in the 2010-11 season, which led to him become the full-time coach after Holland’s termination as coach.
Turner said the school will post the job this week and hopes to have someone hired by early May and definitely in time for summer practice.