Notre Dame parts ways with track and field coach Alan Turner after four seasons

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame's track and field season isn't over.

But it's already in the market for a new head coach.

Alan Turner — who has been on staff at ND since 2010 and took over as head coach of the track and field and cross country programs in July 2014 — will not have his contract renewed when it expires on June 30, athletics director Jack Swarbrick announced via a press release on Monday.

"We appreciate all that Alan has contributed to Notre Dame track and field and cross country during his time both as head coach as well as his four earlier seasons as associate and assistant coach," Swarbrick said in a statement. "We thank him for all those efforts, and we wish him well in his future endeavors."

Turner’s abbreviated tenure runs in sharp contrast to his predecessor, Joe Piane, who retired in May 2014 as the longest-tenured head coach in Notre Dame’s athletics program after serving in the role for 38 seasons.

Earlier this month, Notre Dame’s track and field teams produced an underwhelming performance at the ACC Outdoor Championships in Coral Gables, Fla., as the Irish men finished 12th and the women placed ninth. Sixteen competitors are slated to represent Notre Dame at the NCAA east regionals in Tampa, Fla., starting on Thursday.

Turner will continue to coach through the remainder of the season, according to the press release.

Perhaps Turner’s most distinguished pupil was distance runner Molly Seidel, an All-American who captured NCAA Indoor titles in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters in 2015. Seidel and Mishawaka native Anna Rohrer propelled the Irish women’s cross country team to an 8th place finish nationally in 2015, and the Irish followed that up with an 11th place finish in 2016.

Among the Irish competitors at the NCAA regionals this week are graduate student pole vaulter Nathan Richartz, a first-team All-American and program record-holder who successfully defended his ACC title earlier this month and is expected to contend for a national title. Rohrer — a junior and 2017 first-team All-American who finished third nationally in the 5,000 meters in 2016 — is slated to compete in the 10,000 meters.

Troy Pride Jr., a rising junior cornerback on the Irish football team, has also competed as a sprinter on the track and field team throughout each of his first two seasons on campus. Another Notre Dame football player, incoming freshman wide receiver Braden Lenzy, is expected to join the track and field team for the 2018-19 season.

Prior to being hired as a Notre Dame assistant in 2010, Turner served on the staffs at Southern Illinois University (2005-10) and Maywood (Ill.) Proviso East High School (2004-05). A decorated sprinter and long jumper, Turner captured the NCAA indoor long jump title and was runner-up at the NCAA outdoor championships at Indiana in 1991. The 1992 IU graduate was a three-time All-American, five-time Big Ten champion and three-time captain.

Notre Dame track and field coach Alan Turner was fired on Monday after four seasons