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March 15, 2013

Mike Turk named Huntingdon’s new Director of Athletics

MONTGOMERY, Ala. —Mike Turk was introduced as Huntingdon College's new director of athletics on Friday. Turk will continue to serve as the Hawks' head football coach.

Turk joined the Huntingdon staff as the Hawks' second head football coach in the spring of 2004. In nine seasons, he has turned the program into a consistent winner with a 57-30 record. During his tenure, the program has achieved its first win (2004), first winning season (2005), first playoff appearance (2009) and first regular-season national ranking (2012).

Huntingdon President J. Cameron West said Turk's leadership and experience will benefit the entire Huntingdon athletic department.

"We were fortunate to hire a man of Mike Turk's caliber to head our football program nearly nine years ago, and we are just as fortunate to add 'athletic director' to his title today," said West. "Coach Turk is known throughout the community, the region, and college athletics for his integrity, character, and professionalism. We are grateful he was willing to share his expertise in the leadership of all 16 intercollegiate athletic teams, especially as the athletic program transitions into the USA South Athletic Conference later this year."

Turk said he looks forward to helping Huntingdon athletics continue to grow and excel in the future.

"I'm really humbled and excited to have the opportunity to serve the school in this way," said Turk. "During my time here, I've had the opportunity to work with and work for some great people. I feel like the pieces of the puzzle are in place. We have a good team of coaches on staff. Our coaches are men and women who care about their players and want their players and their programs to be successful. I want to do everything I can to help them make that happen."

As head football coach, Turk led the Hawks to a 4-5 record his first season. Huntingdon was 7-2 during his second season and has not had a losing season since. The Hawks posted back-to-back 8-2 seasons in 2008 and 2009 and reached the NCAA-Division III playoffs for the first time in 2009.

In 2011, Huntingdon posted a 7-3 record against what was ranked as the toughest strength of schedule in Division III and the Hawks won their first two games against nationally ranked opponents.

In 2012, the Hawks' win over nationally-ranked Hampden-Sydney propelled the team into the regular-season national rankings for the first time. Huntingdon was ranked for seven weeks, climbing as high as 16th, and spent the final four weeks of its season in the top 20.

Turk has also helped several of his players develop into standout performers. In 2012, senior defensive lineman D.J. Chappell became the first Hawk to earn first-team All-American honors. Following the 2011 season, receiver Cody Pearcy signed an NFL free-agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons. Eight other players have earned All-Region recognition.

While success on the field is important to Turk, success in the classroom is equally important. Since 2007, Huntingdon has placed 29 players on the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Honor Society. In their lone season in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the Hawks were recognized with seven All-Academic players.

Turk earned his undergraduate degree in physical education and a master's degree in education from Troy State University. A graduate of Jeff Davis High School in Montgomery, Turk was a walk-on quarterback for Troy in the spring of 1984, quickly proving himself and leading the program to NCAA Division II national championships in 1984 and 1987.

His teams were 40-8-1 in four seasons. One of the most decorated players in Troy history, Turk was selected as an All-Conference performer in the Gulf South Conference three times and was runner-up for the prestigious Harlon Hill Trophy, given to the nation's top Division II performer. He was a consensus All-America selection as a senior and was named GSC Freshman of the Year in 1984.

Following his senior year, Turk was named Division II Offensive Player of the Year by Football News. He was the first person to be chosen as the Alabama Sports Writers Association's Small College Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Year in the same season.

Turk was a Troy assistant for 13 seasons before returning to his hometown roots. When he left Troy for Huntingdon, Turk had played or coached in 20 of the Trojans' 22 postseason games.

In the spring of 2012, Turk was one of 11 inducted into the inaugural Troy University Athletic Hall of Fame. In addition to his mark left in Troy, Turk was enshrined as a member of the ninth class of the NCAA Division II Football Hall of Fame in December of 2007.

He is married to the former Danielle Warren of Alexander City. They have two sons: Jimbo, a Huntingdon student, and Jake.

Turk succeeds Buzz Phillips in the role of director of athletics. Phillips announced his retirement from the position in January, but remains on staff as head women's basketball coach and director of athletics emeritus.