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3 things to know about Norv Turner

What is most impressive about the offensive guru?

Daniel Racz @Danny___Dimes 


Born in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in 1952, Norv Turner has spent his whole life around football. Turner attended and played quarterback at the University of Oregon, where he went on to be a graduate assistant in 1975. Turner would then rise through the ranks of the college system until his eventual hire in the National Football League by the Los Angeles Rams. Turner worked around the league, winning super bowls as a coordinator before receiver head coaching offers. Though Turner never had sustained success as a head coach, he is thought of well in the league due to his history as a coordinator. Norv’s son, Scott Turner, is the current offensive coordinator for the Washington Football Team. 

West Coast Start

Turner’s beginnings are rooted on the West Coast of the United States. Immediately after graduating from Oregon, he spent a year working with their football program as a graduate assistant. Pac-12 rival USC poached Turner from Oregon, making him their wide receivers coach from 1976 to 1979. The Trojans promoted Turner to quarterbacks coach for the 1981-1983 seasons, then made him their offensive coordinator for the 1984 season. During Turner’s nine seasons with the Trojans, USC won three conference titles and one NCAA division one title. 

Turner’s achievements with USC made him a target by the NFL. The Los Angeles Rams hired Turner to coach their wide receivers. During his tenure with the Rams from 1985 to 1990, he also was an assistant coach. Due to the Rams’ progress during Turner’s time with them, he received an offer from the Dallas Cowboys to be their offensive coordinator. 

Success In Dallas

Norv Turner’s career took off while he coordinated the Dallas Cowboys offense. In 1990, the year before Turner joined Dallas, the Cowboys’ offense was dead last in the National Football League. They averaged 255.1 yards and 15.2 points per game. In Turner’s first year, the offense jumped to 9th in the league, averaging 318.8 yards and 21.4 yards per game. During the next two years of Turner’s time with Dallas, the Cowboys possessed a top-five offense. The electric Cowboys’ offense possessed multiple Hall of Famers, most notably Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin. In his three-year stint with Dallas, the franchise would go on to compete in two Super Bowls against the Buffalo Bills, defeating them in both matches. 

Turner’s transformation of the Cowboys’ offense landed him a head coaching offer in 1994 with the Washington Redskins. 

Bounced Around The League

Following his time with the Cowboys, the division rival Redskins, now the Washington Football Team, hired him as their head coach. Turner served as Washington’s head coach from 1994 to 2000. His cumulative record as Washington’s coach was 49-59-1. Turner’s team reached the playoffs once during his seven-year tenure. The Redskins fired Norv Turner with three remaining games in the 2000 season, and he has the rare distinction of getting fired as a coach during the season despite a winning record. 

Turner landed an offensive coordinator gig the next season with the San Diego Chargers. Though he was not brought back for the 2001 season, he became the Chargers’ head coach before the 2007 season, and he held that title for six seasons. In his entire career, Turner had four head coaching regimes and served as the offensive coordinator for eight different NFL franchises. He is the only head coach to have a losing record despite winning over 100 games.

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