Bowling Green, Ky. — Curtis Turley, who spent the last season as the WKU women’s basketball director of operations, will now join the full-time coaching staff. New Lady Topper head coach Michelle Clark-Heard made the announcement on Wednesday.
Turley will join Margaret Richards and Greg Collins to round out the coaching staff.
“I am very excited to complete my coaching staff with a quality coach and individual like Coach Turley,” said Heard. “ From the first day I met him I could see how passionate he was about WKU. His knowledge of the game along with his energy and dedication makes him a perfect fit for what we are doing here on the Hill.”
Prior to joining the Lady Topper program, Turley won more than 600 games over 32 seasons in the Kentucky high school boy’s basketball coaching ranks. A familiar name in Bowling Green, Turley coached at both Warren Central and Greenwood High Schools. His last season came in 2010-11 as the boy’s basketball coach in the inaugural season at Martha Layne Collins High School in Shelby County.
A 1976 graduate of WKU, Turley played junior varsity basketball during his collegiate days on the Hill. Prior to beginning his high school coaching career, Turley served as a student assistant coach on the Lady Topper staff for Dr. Carol Hughes during the 1974-75 and 1975-76 seasons.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to return to the court in a coaching capacity. That is my passion and what I’ve spent my life doing,” said Turley. “Basketball is all about fundamentals, and I enjoy teaching that aspect of the game. My greatest satisfaction comes from working with players, watching them improve and seeing them become successful. I look forward to working with Coach Heard and the rest of our staff as we strive to return Lady Topper basketball back to one of the elite programs in the nation.”
Turley helped lead Warren Central to KHSAA Sweet Sixteen appearances in both 1982 and 1983, and guided Henderson County to a region championship in 1990. In his second stint in Bowling Green, he coached Greenwood to a King of the Bluegrass tournament championship in 1996 with Mr. Basketball Daymeon Fishback.
After spending two seasons at Shelby County, Turley and his wife, Brenda, moved to Owensboro to be close to their son, Tanner, while he was playing at Kentucky Wesleyan for current WKU men’s coach Ray Harper. During that time, Turley took over at Daviess County, and guided the Panthers to the state tournament in 2003 — the first trip for the school in 50 years.
Turley was honored by the Kentucky High School Athletic Directors Association when he was named the organization's Outstanding Coach in 1995 - an award that recognizes the top coach in the state regardless of sport. A year later in 1996, he was voted the Kentucky Boy's Basketball Coach of the Year in both the Louisville Courier-Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader. That same year, he was selected as the coach for the Derby Festival Classic.
During his 32 seasons in the prep ranks, Turley compiled a 624-321 record - a .660 winning percentage. That win total ranks 11th on the state's all-time list. He was the coach of the 1988 Kentucky All-Star team, and in 2007, Turley was named to the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches Court of Honor.
The Turley File:
Born — January 31, 1954
High School — Crittenden County (Ky.) HS, 1972
HS Athletics — Basketball, Football, Baseball, Track/Cross Country
College — WKU (BS), 1976; WKU (MA), 1980
Coaching Experience —
Berea High School, head boy's basketball coach (1976-78)
Lyon County High School, head boy's basketball coach (1978-80)
Warren Central High School, head boy's basketball coach (1980-85)
Graves County High School, head boy's basketball coach (1985-87)
Henderson County High School, head boy's basketball coach (1987-95)
Greenwood High School, head boy's basketball coach (1995-97)
Shelby County High School, head boy's basketball coach (1997-99)
Daviess County High School, head boy's basketball coach (1999-2004)
Lexington Catholic High School, head boy's basketball coach (2004-05)
Louisville Manual High School, head boy's basketball coach (2006-07)
Warren East High School, head boy's basketball coach (2008-09)
Martha Layne Collins High School, head boy's basketball coach (2010-11)
Western Kentucky University, director of operations (2011-12)
Western Kentucky University, assistant coach (2012-13 - present)
Family — Wife, Brenda; daughter, Courtney; son, Tanner; daughter in law, Marsha; Granddaughters, Parker and Kesed