Teams & Conferences

FIU Fires Head Coach Ron Turner. Now What?

Ron Turner fired at Florida International after four seasons. Now what?

Contact @PeteFiutak

It wasn’t a shocker in any way, except for the timing.

Florida International fired head coach Ron Turner after an 0-4 start and a miserable beginning to the season. Losing to Indiana and Maryland wasn’t a big deal, but the Golden Panther lost to a bad UMass team 21-13, and then came the straw that broke the camel’s back – UCF.

FIU will never be Miami, Florida or Florida State, but as it tries to build the program up, it can’t lose to UCF 53-14 at home. At the very least there’s the perception that UCF is moving up and has a direction, while FIU was taking a step back.

It would’ve been interesting to have seen if Turner could’ve made one last push with Florida Atlantic coming up next – beating the local comp would’ve been a positive – but Turner went 10-30 in his four years with three losing seasons before this awful start.

Going back to Illinois, Turner has just one winning college season with seven losing seasons in eight, and nine in his last 11 before this year.

And now it’ll be up to Ron Cooper to step in and try to save the season.

As a head coach at Eastern Michigan in 1993 and 1994 he went 9-13 before taking over the Louisville job in the mid-1990s going 13-20.

Cooper landed at Alabama A&M where he went 45-55, and then became an assistant at South Carolina, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, LSU, and other colleges – along with a stint at Tampa Bay – he’s was the defensive backs coach at FIU before taking over the defensive coordinator job this year.

He’ll get his opportunity to show what he can do in the audition over the rest of the season. He’s not all that old at 54, but there’s a good chance the program might want to go younger and with a rising prospect.

For now, though. FIU can’t get much worse ranking last in college football in scoring, and 110th in defense. But now there’s a different direction, at least for the next few months.