Tom Turner came to the United States from Scotland in 1978 to play soccer and pursue a college education at Cleveland State University. While in Scotland he played for Scotland’s schoolboys and for Glasgow Rangers Youth Team. He was offered professional “terms” by Rangers FC, Celtic FC and Clydebank FC. In 1984, after playing in three NCAA tournaments, completing bachelor’s degrees in education and psychology and a master’s degree in education (exercise physiology emphasis), he began teaching at North Olmsted, OH where he helped coach the high school to two state finals and a 25-0 Division I State Championship in 1985. Ohio North State Coach Steve Parker recruited Turner to the ODP Staff in the spring of 1985.
Turner was hired to coach at his college alma mater in 1987. He stayed for six years and posted the highest wins total in school history (14) in 1990. During that time Turner also earned his USSF "A" license and NSCAA Advanced Diploma, joined the Region II Boys ODP Staff under Fred Schmalz, and began conducting state level coaching education courses in Ohio-North under Dr. Tom Nash.
In 1993, Turner was asked to serve on the USSF National Instructional Staff and, in 1994, was appointed by then USSF Director of Coaching Bob Gansler to the technical report staff for the World Cup with specific responsibility for observing Sweden and Switzerland at the Detroit venue. The departure of Timo Liekoski for the U.S. Olympic and World Cup Teams in 1993 signaled Turner's appointment as part-time State Director of Coaching for Ohio North.
Citing "An inability to recruit," Turner left Cleveland State University in 1993 to teach and coach at Hawken School in Gates Mills, OH. The school became a state contender under Turner, with four final four and three state final appearances in seven years.
After five years with the Region II Boy’s ODP staff, Turner was asked to take over from the departing Dean Duerst (University of Wisconsin-Madison) as head coach of the girl’s ODP program in 1994. Building the quality of the staff, improving professionalism, becoming more sophisticated in playing indirect soccer, reaching out to the regional coaching network, and working to bring national respect to the region were seen as Turner's primary concerns in 1994. Those goals had been achieved when Turner stepped down in the fall of 2004.
Turner's seven-year pursuit of a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction (Sports Pedagogy) became a reality in May of 2001 when he graduated from Kent State University. His dissertation, entitled A Constructivist Approach to Coaching Education: A study of learning experiences, described the challenges facing inexperienced recreation level soccer coaches and their K-3 players.
Turner has served as assistant coach to April Heinrichs with the U-16 Women’s National Team (WNT) at the 1997 Sports Festival in Blaine, Minnesota; assistant coach to Jay Hoffman with U-20 WNT at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada; and Head Coach of the US Youth Soccer Adidas All-American team during their 2001 and 2005 European Tours.
Turner earned the National Youth License in 2000 and was appointed to the US Youth Soccer National Instructional Staff following the appointment of Tom Goodman as US Youth Soccer Director of Coaching in 2002.
Turner has served as Chair of the Region II Coaches Committee, as a member of the Region II Coaches Symposium Committee, and as a member of the Midwest Regional League Committee. He currently serves as a member of the US Youth Soccer National League Committee and as Chairman of the US Youth Soccer National Coaching Committee. At the local level, Turner was the first Commissioner of the Ohio North State League.
In the fall of 2008, Turner achieved a unique honor when he was appointed as head coach of the Region II Boy’s ODP program, becoming the first person to have led both regional ODP programs.
An avid writer of soccer articles, Turner has presented at the US Youth Soccer Workshop, the Region II Coaches Symposium, the NSCAA Convention, the USSF Staff Workshop, and at numerous state association workshops and lecture series. He has been appointed to teach USSF “A,” “B,” and “C” courses since 1993 and continues to implement local curricular innovations and advocate for modern approaches to teaching soccer.
Tom Turner was born in Greenock, Scotland in 1960 and lives in Richmond Heights, OH with his wife Barb. In his spare time he plays golf, soccer, reads books, gardens, and plays the guitar.