KNOXVILLE — Throughout his coaching career at Bearden High School, Eric Turner was never one to crave the spotlight.
While his name has been forever etched in the school’s storied soccer history, it now is etched with Bearden’s field.
“I’ve always said that this was about more than just one person,” said Turner, who was honored at halftime of the Lady Bulldogs’ 3-0 District 2-AAA victory over Morristown West Tuesday, Sept. 12. “We had a lot of help from the community and we had a lot of great players.”
The school’s soccer field, formerly known as Bruce Allender Field, was re-christened Turner-Allender Field.
Turner coached the Lady Bulldogs from 1998 through 2013 and won 255 games. He led the girls to five Class AAA state tournament appearances and guided Bearden to a pair of state titles.
Between 1998 and 2014, Turner coached the Bearden boys. With the Bulldogs, he won three state titles and the 2002 national championship.
Bearden’s boys made nine state tournament appearances during Turner’s tenure, as he guided the Bulldogs to 276 wins before retiring after the 2014 spring sports season.
While at Bearden, Turner coached 54 All-State players, 15 All-Region South players, three Gatorade Players of the Year and five All-Americans.
He also was a key figure [along with Rick Radcliffe and Jim Kelly] in the conception, funding and construction of the field that now bears his name.