MACON, Ga. – After thoughtful consideration, FPD head softball coach Jim Turner has decided to step down as head coach, announced Thursday, Jan. 28 in a team meeting on campus.
Turner, who stepped away as FPD’s head baseball coach two years ago, now ends his coaching career after 33 years, 32 of which have been at FPD. The lone year not with the school came while at Houston County.
“I’ve known Coach Turner for a very long time, and I can honestly say that his priority has always been to make a positive impact in the lives of those he coached,” FPD Athletic Director Greg Moore said. “His record is remarkable, but the relationships he’s built are even more telling with regards to his huge influence.”
Turner’s numbers speak for themselves as to the success he has brought to the FPD softball program.
Most recently, the now former skipper led the Lady Vikings to elite status at the GHSA Class-A level. For three consecutive years, FPD has finished third at the GHSA Class-A Private Elite Eight State Tournament in Columbus.
His career record as FPD’s fast-pitch coach stands at 257-105. Combined with his baseball coaching record of 370-216, Turner’s career win-loss record is an astounding 627-321. That mark is good for a winning percentage of .655 for his entire coaching career.
“I’m thankful to FPD, Headmaster Gregg Thompson and Athletic Director Greg Moore for all of their years letting me mold and teach young lives on and off the field,” Turner said. “The games of baseball and softball have always been dear to me and I will miss everything that comes with them.”
In softball, Turner guided the Lady Vikings to Region Championships in the GISA in 2005, 2006, and 2008. In the GHSA era, Turner’s squads won the region four times (2010, ’11, ’12 and ’14).
His teams also made the Final Four eight times combined in GISA and GHSA postseason play.
The sweetest year for Turner and the softball team came in 2007, when his Lady Vikings captured the GISA AAA State Title, the first and only in FPD fast-pitch program history to date.
While at the helm of the softball program, Turner landed 12 Lady Vikings spots to play at the college level. Combined with 28 baseball signees, Turner totaled 40 college and/or pro signees.
In baseball, Turner’s teams were crowned State Champions in 1992 and 2010, the latter coming in FPD’s final year in the GISA. His Vikings totaled 10 region titles, including three in the GHSA era in 2010, 2013 and 2014.
“It’s an understatement to say we will miss Coach Turner’s presence,” Moore said. “We will begin a very deliberate process immediately to find the right person to lead our softball program.”
Turner hopes to maintain a position on FPD’s faculty and staff as a teacher and will spend more time with his wife Joan and grandchildren as he transitions away from his coaching duties.
“There’s certain things about baseball and softball that I’ll really miss,” Turner said. “The blue sky, the fresh cut grass and the dirt. But I’ll definitely miss the interaction with the players the most and hope I have made a positive, Christ-like impact on the young women and men whom I have had the privilege to coach. It’s been a great ride and I’m thankful to everyone who has supported me along the way.”
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 following the Vikings on Twitter at @FPDVikingSports and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fpdathletics.