Murray State Director of Athletics Allen Ward announced the hiring of Rechelle Turner as the 12th head coach in Murray State women's basketball program history in a press conference Wednesday afternoon in the Murray Room at the CFSB Center. Turner had spent the previous 21 seasons as the head coach at Murray High School.
"I'm thrilled that Coach Turner has accepted our offer to lead the women's basketball program," said Ward.
"She's an outstanding coach, extraordinary leader, proven winner, and highly respected member of our community. This is a good day for Murray State University and the community of Murray."
"It's obvious every time I visit with Rechelle that she cares deeply about her players and their development both on and off the court. She's clearly a winner and knows what it takes to win consistently. Our team will realize that quickly. But they'll also realize she's a very compassionate person that wants to develop lifelong relationships with her players."
"Coach Turner's teams are known for their character, hard work, accountability, mental toughness, positive attitude, and selflessness. They are committed to winning and to each other. Those are the traits associated with successful programs and I'm totally confident in her ability to instill those qualities at Murray State," said Ward.
The MSU alum compiled a record of 460-178 at MHS, the 20th-most career victories in Kentucky state history. Turner led the Tigers to 13 All-A Region 1 championships, four Region 1 titles, five District 4 championships and the 2016 All-A State Championship. Turner was named the KABC First Region Coach of the Year in 2014 and is a six-time All-Purchase Coach of the Year honoree. In 2016, she was inducted into both the KABC Court of Honor and the Marshall County Hall of Fame.
"I'm first just thankful to God for blessing me with this opportunity," said Turner.
"I'm humbled and blessed that Mr. Ward and Dr. Davies would trust me to take over the women's basketball program at Murray State. I'm not sure if there's been any one ever, that has been able to take a Division I coaching job and been able to stay in their same home. This is an amazing opportunity and I look forward to working with everyone at Murray State. I am just so proud to be able to be a part of that."
"I've had the opportunity to talk at length with Rechelle about her vision for the program," said Murray State President Dr. Bob Davies.
"It's clear that she's committed to excellence, both on the court and in the classroom. She talked candidly about the program, its current state, and her vision for the future. She's quite passionate about impacting the lives of her players and winning championships," continued Davies.
"It's not every day that the ideal candidate is just down the road. I look forward to watching all she'll accomplish while leading the Racers for many years to come."
The Calvert City native graduated from Murray State in 1996 with a degree in Learning and Behavior Disorders. While at MSU, Turner played three seasons (1991-94) for the Racers, leading the team in assists in each of her last two seasons. Turner was also a member of the Racer women's golf team under current MSU head coach and SWA, Velvet Milkman. In 2001, Turner graduated with her Master's in Reading and Writing from Murray State and in 2009, she received her Administrative Certification from the University of the Cumberlands.
"As a former coach of Rechelle's I have seen first-hand, her work ethic and competitive spirit," said Milkman.
"I know she will give her all to make our women's basketball program successful. I look forward to watching her lead our program and I am proud she has joined the Racer athletic department."
"I carry the lessons that I learned as a student-athlete at Murray State daily," continued Turner.
"The excellence that Murray State athletics has shown over the years is a tradition in itself. To be able to be a part of that and to help to continue to grow and build the women's basketball program is an amazing honor that I felt like I had to take."
"There are so many things that I love about basketball. I'm so competitive and I love the competitive nature of the game, but I also love how it can teach you about life and the relationships that you can develop along the way. Things that last you a lifetime."
Turner and her husband Travis reside in Murray and have two sons, Cade and Cadwell.