Liberty football coach Turner Gill announces retirement

turner gillLiberty football coach Turner Gill announced Monday that he is retiring from coaching football. A national search for the ninth head coach in the history of the program will begin immediately.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my retirement from coaching,” Gill said. “In the summer of 2016, my wife Gayle was diagnosed with a heart condition. Both Gayle and I wanted to be here to help Liberty through their transition and we are so glad to have done so. We have come to the realization that it is now time for me to step away.

“I can’t put into words how much this coaching staff, support staff and the players mean to us. We are so thankful for President Falwell, Becki Falwell and Ian McCaw and their support during our time here. They, as well as all of those mentioned, have been and will continue to be blessings in our lives. To God be the glory!”

On Saturday, Gill completed his seventh season as Liberty’s head football coach, ending his tenure on Liberty Mountain with a 47-35 record and his career a 72-84 overall head coaching record.

Since taking over Liberty’s football program on Dec. 14, 2011, Gill has elevated Liberty’s winning tradition to the next level, positioning the Flames for success at football highest collegiate level.

“We are grateful and deeply indebted to Turner for successfully leading Liberty football from the FCS to FBS,” Liberty athletics director Ian McCaw said. “He’s had a transformational impact on the football program and our student-athletes over the past 7 years. We wish him and his family the very best as the Lord leads them into the next stage of their life.”

Liberty posted a winning record in each of Gill’s seven seasons at the helm of the program, extending the Flames’ streak to 13 seasons in a row with a winning mark.

Gill played an instrumental part in Liberty’s successful transition from FCS football to the FBS level. Gill jumpstarted the reclassification process when he guided the Flames to a 48-45 win over Baylor on Sept. 2, 2017, Liberty’s first win over a Power 5 opponent.

During the 2018 season, Gill led the Flames during their inaugural campaign at the FBS level. Liberty finished the season with a 6-6 record, becoming the ninth program in NCAA history to win six or more game during their first season at the FBS level.

Prior to Liberty’s transition to the FBS level, Gill guided the Flames to four Big South titles during his first six seasons on Liberty Mountain (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016). The successful run was spotlighted when he led Liberty into uncharted waters in 2014, leading the program to its first-ever trip to the NCAA FCS Playoffs.

Gill was rewarded for his coaching prowess in 2014 when he was named the Bobby Ross Coach of the Year Award winner. The honor is given annually to the top Division I coach in the Commonwealth of Virginia (both FBS and FCS coaches).

He was also selected the top Division I coach in Virginia by the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID), the second for any head football coach in program history.

During his final 12 seasons as head coach at three different programs, Gill led his teams to first-place conference finishes six times (2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016).

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