Marci Turner loves the game of golf. She eats, sleeps and dreams about it. Turner could appropriately be described as a golf nut.
So when Turner, the former golf standout at Monroe County High School, was hired as the new assistant women’s golf coach at the University of Tennessee, it was a little like coming home.
“Since graduation, it had always been a goal of mine to get into coaching. I went to grad school to get my master’s in sports administration so that I could be prepared for one of those opportunities,” Turner said. “I had applied for other jobs, but nothing had really worked out for me.
“Then this position came open and the coach here (Judi Pavon) is the coach I played for, so we had a really good relationship. It felt great to come home.”
Turner has always felt at home on the golf course since picking the game up as a 5-year-old under the direction of her grandparents.
“I started playing on the Monroe County High School team when I was in the fourth grade. I qualified for the state meet for the first time in fifth grade and played in the state meet every year through my senior season,” Turner relayed
She was named all-state six times and won the state tournament as a senior. Turner was named Miss Golf in 2003 and signed to play at UT.
Turner is already feeling very comfortable in her new position. She said her responsibilities are numerous, but very easy for her to understand.
“I have been in the position the girls on the team are in, the exact same position because I have been there,” Turner said. “I can help them with their issues.
“As an assistant coach, we do a little bit of everything. We do a lot of recruiting, travel arrangements for tournaments, and on-course instruction to help the girls.”
Turner also said it feels great to be working along side Pavon, who has sent other assistant coaches on to head coaching positions around the country, something she has as a future goal.
“The assistant coach position in golf is usually a four or five-year thing. I am thinking about getting a PhD in sports management so that I could possibly teach or work in an athletic department in administration,” Turner said. “All the assistant coaches under Judi have gone on to head coaching jobs. So, we will have to just see what happens.”