Russell Turner was named 2014 Big West Conference Coach of the
Year and NABC District 9 Coach of the Year after leading the
Anteaters to their first league regular-season title in 12 years
and a second consecutive 20-win season.
Turner, who in November signed a contract extension through the 2017-18 season, guided the ‘Eaters to a 23-12 overall record in 2013-14 and a 13-3 mark in Big West play. The 23 wins tied for the second-highest mark in UCI history. Five of his players received Big West postseason recognition.
He has led the ‘Eaters to 44 wins over the past two seasons and two consecutive postseason appearances, including the 2014 NIT.
Under Turner, UCI has won 18 of its last 22 Big West regular-season games and 26 of the past 31 games in the Bren Events Center.
Turner, who is in his fifth season at UCI, led the ‘Eaters to a 16-0 record this season when holding the opposition to under 60 points and a 21-1 mark when the opponents shot less than 40 percent from the field. His 2013-14 squad shattered the school record for single-season blocked shots with 224.
Turner directed UCI to 21 wins in 2012-13, tying the third-best single-season performance in school history, and UCI had 11 Big West victories, the most in 10 years
UC Irvine’s 2012-13 season included a 21-16 overall record (11-7 Big West) and the program’s first postseason appearance in 11 years as Turner’s ‘Eaters advanced to the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT).
UCI defeated High Point, 80-71, in the 2013CIT first round before falling at Oral Roberts, 76-62, in the second round.
The ‘Eaters advanced to the championship game of the 2013 Big West Conference Tournament for the fourth time in history and the first time in the last five years. UCI topped Hawai’i and No. 1 seed Long Beach State before falling to Pacific in the final.
Turner led UCI to a perfect 9-0 record in Big West games at the Bren Center in 2012-13 and the ‘Eaters were 13-1 overall in home contests. His squad was 12-0 when holding the opposition to 60 points or less and UCI ranked first in the Big West and 15th in the nation in field-goal percentage defense at .387.
Turner was named UC Irvine's head coach April 9, 2010, after serving the previous six seasons as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association following positions at Stanford University and Wake Forest University.
Turner had numerous responsibilities under head coach Don Nelson at Golden State, including assisting with game planning, analyzing opponent tendencies and individual player skill development.
Turner also served as a coach for the Warriors' summer-league entry in Las Vegas for five seasons. He has been an active participant in the NBA's international outreach camps, including Basketball without Borders, representing the league in Turkey, China and Lithuania. BWB is a program that uses basketball to create positive social change in education, health and wellness.
Turner was a member of Mike Montgomery's Stanford University staff from 2000-04 when the Cardinal had a combined overall record of 105-24 (.814), including 59-13 (.819) in Pac-10 play. Stanford won Pac-10 regular-season titles in 2001 and 2004, was ranked No. 1 in the polls both seasons, and advanced to the NCAA tournament each of Turner's four years, including the West Regional final in 2001.
The list of players he worked with at Stanford includes All-Americans Josh Childress, Casey Jacobsen, Jarron Collins and Jason Collins.
Prior to Stanford, Turned worked under Dave Odom as an assistant at Wake Forest University from 1994-2000.
The Demon Deacons won 161 games in those six seasons, advancing to the NCAA tournament three times, including the Midwest Regional final in 1996. Tim Duncan was a three-time All-American during Turner's tenure at Wake Forest.
Turner's first coaching position was as an assistant at his alma mater, Hampden-Sydney (Va.) College in 1993-94.
As a player at Hampden-Sydney, Turner was a two-time All-American (1991 & 1992) and set the school's career scoring record of 2,272 points. He was a member of Hampden-Sydney's first two NCAA tournament teams and was inducted into Hampden-Sydney's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
He graduated magna cum laude in 1992 with a B.A. in English and economics, and earned numerous academic honors including election into Phi Beta Kappa.
Turner is a native of Roanoke, Va. He and his wife, Elizabeth, a physician, have two children, Devlin and Darius.
said when UC Irvine hired Russell Turner in 2010:
"I am thrilled for the UC Irvine basketball family. Russell is a great teacher of the game and brings a wealth of knowledge to our program."
-- Scott Brooks, Head Coach - NBA's
Oklahoma City Thunder (2010 NBA Coach of the Year); UC Irvine
"I think that UC Irvine has made an outstanding choice. Russ is one of the best young coaches that I've ever worked with and I've felt that all he needed was a chance - and now he has that chance. He has a very bright future."
-- Don Nelson, Former Head Coach -
NBA's Golden State Warriors; All-time winningest coach in NBA
"Russ is a great hire for the Anteaters. He has a
lot of energy and is a real people person. He is bright and a very
capable basketball guy. I was fortunate to see him flourish at
Stanford and went on to hire him with the Warriors. Everyone there
will enjoy working with Russ."
--Mike Montgomery, Head Coach -
University of California; former head coach at Stanford University
and Golden State
"Congratulations to UC Irvine. You are getting a great guy
and I think it's going to be exciting for your program. I have
known Russ Turner as a high school player, collegian and as a young
coach. I have watched him progress as an assistant coach at Wake
Forest and Stanford, and in his six years as an NBA coach. His
background gives him a uniqueness to be the best-qualified person
to be the basketball coach at UC Irvine. When you combine his
basketball background with his human qualities, you have a person
who is caring, loyal, disciplined and committed to
student-athletes. UC Irvine is getting the very best person for the
job and I look forward to watching his continued progress and the
growth of the Anteater basketball program with him."
-- Dave Odom - Former Head Coach -
Wake Forest University and South Carolina
"I know that Coach Turner will do an outstanding
job. He has Pac-10 experience and is a wonderful person and family
man. He will recruit quality kids and turn that program into a
young and upcoming place to be. He was a great mentor and coach for
me. I have the utmost confidence in him."
-- Baron Davis, Guard - NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers; Two-time NBA All-Star
COACH TURNER IN THE NEWS
Turner adjusts to UC Irvine job (Roanoke Times) January 26, 2011
NBA players root on UC Irvine Anteaters (Irvine World News) November 27, 2010
'Eaters expand borders (Daily Pilot) August 15, 2010
Turner welcomes challenge at UC Irvine (ESPN.com) July 20, 2010
From the NBA to UCI (UC Irvine web feature) June 14, 2010
Turner's Time (playbyplayonline.net) June 7, 2010 - begins on page 10
UCI's Turner has the experiences (O.C. Register) April 25, 2010
Turner identifies with players (Daily Pilot) April 12, 2010
Russell Turner Named New Basketball Head Coach (New University) April 12, 2010
Anteaters' new coach, Russell Turner, makes switch from NBA (Irvine World News) April 12, 2010
UCI hires the smartest coach I've ever met (O.C. Register) April 9, 2010
NBA assistant Russell Turner takes UCI basketball job (O.C. Register) April 9, 2010
From NBA to UCI (Daily Pilot) April 9, 2010