PUEBLO, Colo. – After eight seasons at the helm, Colorado State University-Pueblo Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ralph Turner has stepped down from his position.
“We would like to thank Coach Turner for his commitment to Pack Men’s Basketball for the past eight years,” said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Paul Plinske. “As this season transpired, we both became dissatisfied with our team’s performance. As a result, we agreed it was time to move the program in another direction. Ralph has been instrumental in the all-around development of our student-athletes. He has been a valued professional and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
“I will always be grateful for the time I spent at CSU-Pueblo,” Turner said. “The Pack family has been a great blessing to me. I will always remember with love all my players, assistants, fellow coaches, and the many friends in the community.”
“I am sorry that I never solved the puzzle for this year’s team,” Turner added. “This season falls on me, not the student-athletes. They worked so hard and were a great group to coach.”
Turner, the sixth head coach in program history, finished his career at CSU-Pueblo with a 117-108 (.520) overall record and a 95-79 (.546) mark in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play. He coached 225 games for the ThunderWolves, which included a 21-9 season in 2014-15 to establish the first 20-win season since 1997-98 and just the sixth since 1963-64.
The 2016-17 team went 19-9 and finished with a program-record 17 wins in conference play. In 2015-16, the ThunderWolves knocked off No. 1 Tarleton State University in an overtime thriller on the road.
Turner had six seasons at .500 or better and made the RMAC Tournament five times.
Under Turner’s tutelage, 20 student-athletes earned All-RMAC recognition, which included five on the first team. Following the 2016-17 season, the Pack had two first team selections, while Nelson Kahler was named RMAC Defensive Player of the Year.
The ThunderWolves totaled more than 10 Academic All-RMAC honorees, while Jason Anderson was a two-time RMAC Academic Player of the Year and CoSIDA Academic All-District selection.
“A national search will begin immediately as we look for the best fit for CSU-Pueblo and our community,” Plinske said. “Our vision and mission is expanding daily and we could not be more excited to find the most suitable person to lead us to new heights.”
“I am absolutely sure that under the leadership of CSU-Pueblo President Dr. Timothy Mottet and Dr. Plinske the future is bright for the People’s University,” Turner said. “I am excited to see what the future brings for CSU-Pueblo and for me.”