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Former Memphis Tiger Andre Turner named Head Men's Basketball Coach for Lane College

Turner joins the Dragons after spending the past 11 years coaching at Mitchell High School, including the last six as head coach.
Credit: Lane College

JACKSON, Tenn. — Former Memphis star Andre Turner has been named Head Men's Basketball Coach at Lane College.

Turner joins the Dragons after spending the past 11 years coaching at Mitchell High School, including the last six as head coach. During his tenure, Turner led his alma mater to eight state tournament appearances and three state championships (2014, 2015, and 2016).

"As we methodically went through the interview process speaking to many strong candidates, Andre impressed us with his vision, the depth and sophistication of his plan, and his enthusiasm," Director of Athletics Derrick Burroughs said. "He cares about student-athletes and helping them reach their potential on and off the court. I have known Andre for over 30 years and his integrity, consistent leadership, and character is without question. I am proud that Andre and his family will be with us for years to come."

A West Tennessee legend, Turner prepped at Mitchell High School before attending Memphis State University, now the University of Memphis, where he led the Tigers to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances including one Final Four.

"I am thrilled to be given this opportunity to coach at the next level," said Turner. "My primary focus is to be an ambassador to build these young men up. We will use basketball as the vehicle to do that. Our first goal will be helping our student-athletes earn a college degree. After that, we want to field a team that will compete for championships while at Lane."

Known in Memphis circles as the "Little General", Turner's career was highlighted by the run his Tigers made in the 1985 NCAA Tournament. The Tigers cruised past Penn in the opening round and then, on the strength of three consecutive game winning shots by Turner, Memphis topped UAB, Boston College, and Oklahoma to reach the Final Four, losing only to eventual National Champion Villanova in the semifinal game.

Turner finished his Memphis career with 1,442 points in four seasons, a total that ranks him 14th all-time in school history. He set the Memphis record for assists in a single game with 15 against South Carolina in 1986, assists in a season with 262 during the 1985-86 campaign, and assists in a career with 763.

Turner was named to the All-Metro Conference Freshman Team, twice selected to the All-Metro Conference Team, the NCAA All-Midwest Regional Team, Al McGuire's All-Freshman Team, Basketball Weekly's All-South Team, the USBWA All-District 3 Team and the 1986 Associated Press and UPI All-American Teams.

He was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1986 NBA Draft and played six years in the league before going to Europe, where he played for more than a dozen seasons. His tenure in Spain saw him win the 1997 Spanish King's Cup MVP Award as well as being named to six all-star teams.

In addition to his time in the NBA and Spain, Turner also played professionally in the Continental Basketball Association for the La Crosse Catbirds, where he led the team to the 1989–1990 CBA Championship, and in the World Basketball League for the Memphis Rockers.

Turner earned his degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Memphis and in 2003 was inducted into University of Memphis Hall of Fame

The Lane College athletic department is hosting two meet-and-greet opportunities with Coach Turner next week for alumni and supporters. The first will take place at the Ballpark at Jackson on Tuesday, April 20th, from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM and will coincide with the Dragons home baseball game that day versus Xavier. The other will be held on Thursday, April 22nd, at the Rock 'N Soul Museum in Memphis from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM. Both events are free and open to the public.

Information from the University of Memphis athletics website was used in this article. (www.gotigersgo.com)