Nearly as shocking as the firing of head coach Mario Cristobal was a month ago, was the hiring of his successor, Ron
Turner, who still needs to quit his current job as quarterbacks coach for the
Turner, 59, who has also coached hundreds of
"I have been itching to get back to head coaching, especially at college,'' Turner said in a packed FIU Stadium club room. "I love working with the young people, going in their homes visiting with their parents or going to their high schools visiting with their coaches, watch them come in as 17- or 18-year-old freshmen and watching them leave 4-5 years later as men.
"You look at the fast track that FIU has been on since they started the program 10 years ago … it's kind of unbelievable. I see that trend and direction to keep going up.''
All signs pointed to former
Instead, Garcia took several glowing references of Turner from Davis, as well as Schiano, Colts coach
"We interviewed 5-6 people, but everyone pointed to Ron,'' Garcia said. "With losing 30 seniors who accomplished a lot in this program and 19 starters, we still expect to compete and that's why it was very important to me to hire somebody who had a wealth of experience that could put a really good staff together and also has the ability to teach, one of the things he's known for.''
Garcia said they will hire a coach to strictly coach special teams. Turner, the younger brother of recently fired
Garcia began courting Turner after the 7-9 Bucs lost their season finale 13-3 on Dec. 30 to the
"When we talked about their vision and what they want to do for this program, the passion and energy they had was unbelievable, but the thing that kept coming up from both of them was, 'We got to get better. … what can we do to get better,' '' Turner said.
"And that losing wasn't an option.''
Turner is known for an up-tempo, West Coast offense, which helped Bucs quarterback
He smiled when asked how his career path and the direction of the
"Things happen for a reason,'' Turner said. "Sometimes you look at it and say what might've happened? If we hadn't gone to the Super Bowl, they could've done something two weeks earlier.''
Despite his California roots, Turner stressed the importance of recruiting, particularly in South Florida, where most of his experience came during vacations with his wife of 30 years, Wendy.
He's learning about social media recruiting tools such as texting and, "face … whatever it's called,'' from his two daughters in college, as well as his sons, Morgan and Cameron, who are assistant coaches at Stanford and with the