FIU tabs Turner as new football coach

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Florida International introduced Ron Turner as the school's new football coach at a press conference on Friday.

Turner has been selected to be the third coach in the program's history. He replaces Mario Cristobal, who was fired last month after six seasons at the helm.

"I'm excited about this opportunity," Turner remarked. "From the moment I stepped on this campus, I could feel the passion for football."

Turner spent the past eight years as an assistant in the NFL, including this past season as quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He does have collegiate head coaching experience.

After a 7-4 mark in a one-year stint at San Jose State in 1992, Turner guided Illinois for eight years from 1997-2004. He posted a record of 35-57 with a pair of bowl appearances and a Big Ten championship.

"I love the relationships that you build with the student-athletes and their families," Turner said of returning to the college game. "That's why I'm in coaching and I'm really excited to be back in college."

His first team at Illinois went 0-11 in 1997, but he built a program that went 10-2 in 2001 and won the conference title. The Illini, though, won just nine games over the next three seasons.

Turner has also been a college assistant at Arizona, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, USC, Texas A&M and Stanford. His pro coaching experience includes two stints as offensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears (1993-96 & 2005-09), as well as two years with Indianapolis (2010-11).

Cristobal was 27-47 during his tenure at FIU, including 3-9 in 2012.