Limestone Removes Interim Title: Former USC Assistant Brian Turk Is New Saints Head Football Coach
Limestone College and Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Cerino have removed the interim tag from the title of Brian Turk, promoting the former University of South Carolina assistant coach to guide the Saints as the head football coach effective immediately.
Turk, who served as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator under former head coach Mike Furrey, served as the interim head coach for the final two games of the 2018 campaign. He was promoted to offensive coordinator this past season, calling the plays for Limestone in all 10 games.
“Coach Turk has proven that he is capable of moving the program in the right direction,” said Cerino. “He is a young and energetic coach who already has a solid recruiting background in South Carolina, and I believe he is the perfect coach to provide consistency and stability with this program. He will bring a spirit of competitiveness to the team, both on the field of play and in the classroom.”
After working with quarterbacks at USC, Turk served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Limestone this season. Sophomore quarterback DJ Phillips (Fayetteville, N.C.) currently leads the South Atlantic Conference with 227 yards per game and if fourth in the league with 11 TD passes.
In his first season with the Saints, Turk was the running backs coach and helped mentor Jerko’ya Patton (Charlotte, N.C.) during his 2017 SAC Offensive Freshman of the Year Campaign. Patton guided a Limestone rushing attack that averaged 133.3 yards per game with 907 rushing yards as a rookie.
“I am blessed and incredibly excited for this opportunity to be the head football coach at Limestone College,” said Turk. “I am honored by the faith that Dr. Parker and Coach Cerino have shown in me. With a great athletic tradition here at Limestone, and an amazingly bright future for this team, I can’t wait to get to work and continue helping to build this football program.”
Prior to his time at Limestone, Turk spent nine seasons at Carolina where he worked his way up through the ranks. He started as a student manager with the Gamecocks, then an offensive intern and quarterbacks coach with Steve Spurrier, and eventually was named assistant director of recruiting on Will Muschamp’s staff.
Before helping South Carolina land back-to-back top-20 recruiting classes, Turk spent four seasons as a graduate assistant coach and offensive analyst on Spurrier’s staff. He worked with the quarterbacks during this time, including Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson.
Shaw and Thompson each threw for over 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns during their respective careers with the Gamecocks. Shaw set the team’s single-season and career records for completion percentage while Thompson broke Carolina’s single-season marks in yards, completions, and attempts in 2014.
Overall during Turk’s tenure, South Carolina posted three straight 11-win seasons – a first in program history – and he coached in four straight New Year’s Day bowl games. Prior to his time at Carolina, he was an assistant varsity football coach at Ben Lippen High School in Columbia.
“There are so many people who have played a role in shaping me into the man that I am today, and I just want to say thank you,” Turk concluded. “Thanks to my wife, specifically, because without her sacrifice and continued belief in me, none of this would be possible.”
Turk graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport and Entertainment Management.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING...
Steve Spurrier – Former head coach at South Carolina, 1996 National Champion at Florida:
“Brian Turk is a wonderful coach, an excellent mentor, and a loving family man. He was a big part of our success at South Carolina – we had some great seasons with him on staff and were able to win a couple of big bowl games. Brian will do tremendous things as the head football coach at Limestone, and I wish him and the football program all the best.”
Will Muschamp – Head football coach at South Carolina:
“I am excited for Brian and his family. He did a fantastic job for us at South Carolina during my first year, and he will make a great head coach. Limestone College is very fortunate to have him.”
Vyncint Smith – former Limestone standout and current member of the Houston Texans:
“I am extremely excited to hear that Coach Turk will be our next head football coach! I believe he is very deserving, and I know that he has everything it takes to take this program to the next level.”
Connor Shaw - Former South Carolina and NFL quarterback, Tight Ends coach at Furman:
“I am really excited for both Brian and his wife Kendra. They are incredible people! Brian was instrumental in the success we had as a quarterback unit at USC. He has a broad knowledge of the game, but the most impressive thing about him is how he invests and believes in his players. He’ll be a tremendous leader for the Limestone football program. The Shaw family are all now Saints fans!
Dylan Thompson – Former South Carolina quarterback:
“Coach Turk is a phenomenal hire! He’s got a very bright football mind and is a great evaluator and developer of talent. But to me, what sets him apart more than those traits is the way he values people. He will treat players and staff in a way that will get them to operate as the very best versions of themselves on a daily basis. I can’t wait to watch him work.”