MACON, Ga. – The 2014 season will be Jim Turner’s last in a FPD baseball uniform, ending a 25-year tenure as head coach, announced today, February 3, 2014.
The skipper will still remain on FPD’s staff as the head softball coach and faculty member.
Turner says the main reason for stepping away is to spend more time with family.
“The last 25 years as head baseball coach at FPD have been some of the greatest years of my life,” Turner said. “I would like to thank all of the past and present players as well as past and present coaches who have made this a great situation for me.”
Turner has been at the helm of many successful Viking squads, including two state championships, the first coming in 1992 and the last in 2010, the school’s final year in the GISA.
FPD Athletic Director Greg Moore has witnessed many of the triumphs Turner and his Vikings have experienced over the years.
“I have the rare privilege of playing for and coaching with Jimmy,” Moore said. “Never, during all the time that I have known him, has he waivered in his passion to teach baseball and life skills. Those who know him will always appreciate his knowledge of the game and the unmistakable impact he has on those who play for him and coach with him.”
Turner has also led FPD to eight region titles, the most recent coming a year ago, the first baseball region championship as a member of the GHSA.
“FPD has always given us the resources to excel as a baseball program,” Turner said. “We have made advancements in our physical resources as well as in player development. All the memories flood over me as I think of the players that have passed through our program.”
The Vikings are no stranger to postseason baseball under Turner, as FPD has qualified for the playoffs 18 consecutive years.
The last four years has seen Turner take the Vikings to new heights in the GHSA, earning spots in the Sweet 16 in 2011 and 2012 and advancing to the Elite Eight in 2013.
Team accolades aren’t the only success Turner has brought to the program, though. During his tenure as head coach, 10 players have signed NCAA Division-I scholarships. Overall, 28 players have signed to play at the collegiate level.
“We’ve had four players during our watch who have been drafted by Major League Baseball (MLB),” Turner said. “Many more have continued past their baseball careers into careers as missionaries, educators, engineers, physicians, attorneys, accountants and more.”
Turner’s record entering into the 2014 campaign at FPD stands at 334-187, good for a winning percentage of .641.
His record over the last four years stands at 83-32, respectively.
“The future is bright as we have much baseball talent,” Turner said. “The program will continue to improve because FPD provides an environment that creates passion and excitement for such a great sport as baseball.”
Added Moore: “Coach Turner is a winner – on and off the field. His methods change games and his beliefs help change lives. We have our hands full as we consider who might be the best candidate to maintain those characteristics for our baseball program going forward from here.”
The First Presbyterian Day School Department of Athletics strives to build the student athlete both in the playing arena and the classroom while upholding the school’s mission statement to educate and equip students to change the world for God’s glory. For more information, visit www.fpdvikings.com and sign up for up-to-the-minute news and scores by visiting www.twitter.com/FPDVikingSports.