At Vanderbilt: During
Turner’s tenure, the
school built new
funding and strengthened coaching.
for some national
more than half of its
better than a 3.0
grade point average.
But when Gordon
Gee came in as president, suddenly
Turner and his boss
didn’t share a vision
— Gee eliminated
the position of AD.
AP PHOTO/MARK HUMPHREY
tion rate during Turner’s seven years as AD.
“We did some extraordinary things
there,” he said of “the best” experience of
his career. “Some of the things that I’d
dreamed about being able to do, we were
able to get them accomplished there
because Vanderbilt was a school that had
academic credibility and was improving on
the competitive side.”
During Turner’s tenure, the Com-
modores’ fortunes were buoyed by a range
of new athletics facilities, increased funding
and strengthened coaching. Vanderbilt com-
peted for national championships in several
sports, made a rare football bowl appearance
and achieved the school’s highest rank in the
Directors’ Cup standings, which measures
success in postseason play. Meanwhile, more
than half of the private university’s athletes
received better than a 3.0 grade point aver-
age, and the school twice won national
awards for its football graduation rate.
During this time, Turner also formulated strategies for encouraging better academic achievement by athletes, ideas he
had first bandied about with Cooper at
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