Ryan Turner enters his third season as head coach of Butler's cross country and track & field programs. Recognized as one of the top coaches in the NJCAA, Turner has garnered the reputation as a tenacious recruiter and developer of talent. The team’s revitalized success reflects his recruiting reputation and ability to develop hard working student-athletes into All-Americans.
During the 2015-16 season, Butler won three of the six Region VI Championships – including the first Men’s Indoor Region VI Title in school history. The season was capped off by a third-place national trophy for the Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Team. Turner, along with Assistant Coach Greg Franklin, were named USTFCCCA Region Coaches of the Year in 2016.
A Holdenville, Okla., native, Turner comes to Butler ready to rebuild one of the most historic track & field programs in the state of Kansas. A former NCAA Division I Head Cross Country and Assistant Track & Field Coach, Turner has coached at multiple Community Colleges within the state of Kansas, spending time as head coach at Garden City and Pratt before joining the Grizzlies.
From 2008-2013, Turner spent five years coaching at the University of Houston alongside Olympic Gold Medalists Leroy Burrell and Carl Lewis. During his time in the Bayou City, they were able to lead the Cougars to eight Conference-USA team championships.
In 2011, Turner guided the Houston men's cross country program to a third-place finish at the Conference-USA Cross Country Championships, their 2nd highest conference finish since 1996. Led by Butler CC Alumni Wesley Ruttoh, C-USA Senior of the Meet, and Yonas Tesfai, C-USA Freshman of the Year, the team placed 7th at the NCAA South Central Region Championships. Ruttoh earned a national qualifying birth giving Turner the distinction of becoming the first and only Cross Country Coach in University of Houston school history to coach both a male and female NCAA cross country athlete at the NCAA Championships.
In 2008, Turner led the Houston women’s cross country team to a 5th place finish in the Conference-USA Cross Country Championships, their first top-five finish since 2002. That team was led by 2008 C-USA Cross Country Freshman of the Year Stephanie Aldea. Aldea became the first UH female cross country runner to qualify for the NCAA National Cross Country Championships in 14 years. She also qualified for the IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in Amman, Jordan. Notably, four of the top-five all-time women's distance medley relay times were set during Turner's tenure at UH.
Prior to Houston, Turner spent three years as the assistant cross country and track and field coach at Cowley County Community College. As the team’s recruiting coordinator, Turner was able to assemble a men and women's program full of national caliber track & field athletes from all event areas. The Tigers went on to earn six top-five national finishes, including four third-place national trophies. Turner was named NJCAA Region VI Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2006 and following the 2007 indoor track season, Turner was recognized as the NJCAA Women's National Assistant Coach of the Year.
Prior to Cowley, Turner served two and a half years coaching at Southwestern College, his alma mater, in Winfield, Kans. Turner holds a bachelor's degree in physical education, a master's degree in education and is USATF Level II certified in the endurance and sprints, relays, and hurdles events. Turner has also spent time studying at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calf. and since 2006 has served as a school Director for the USATF Level 1 Coaching Education Program.
While competing at Southwestern College, Turner was a four-time national meet qualifier and KCAC Conference runner-up in the 1,500m run. He ran the 800m (1:55.2), 1500m (4:01.0) and 8,000m (26:09) in cross country. He was the No. 4 runner on Southwestern's 1999 team that placed 8th at the NAIA National Cross Country Championships.
Married to Ashlei Tucker of Wewoka, Okla., the couple have three children, Lauryn (10), Haylie (7) and Isley (1).