Huntingdon’s Turk enshrined in Troy University Athletic Hall of Fame

Huntingdon’s Turk enshrined in Troy University Athletic Hall of Fame

TROY, Ala. – Huntingdon head football coach Mike Turk and 10 others were enshrined in the Troy University Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday night.

A banquet for the inaugural Hall of Fame class was held in the new Trojan Arena.

"I honestly can't describe how humbling this is," Turk said. "My time at Troy is something I'll never forget and it still means so much to me. It was one of the best times of my life. I met my wife (Danielle) there and most of the professional relationships I have today are because of my time in Troy. It's a special place to me and it always will be."

As Troy's quarterback, Turk led the Trojans to a 40-8-1 record and two NCAA Division II national titles (1984 and 1987). He was named first-team All-Gulf South three times and was the Gulf South's Freshman of the Year in 1984.

Turk was first-team All-America in 1987 and was the runner-up for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is awarded to the nation's top Division II performer. He was also named Division II Offensive Player of the Year by Football News and was the first person chosen by the Alabama Sports Writers Association as the Small College Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Year in the same season.

"Coach Turk is in every way deserving of inclusion in the Troy University Athletic Hall of Fame," Huntingdon President J. Cameron West said. "He was a legendary player, a remarkable assistant coach and for eight years has been at the helm of the Huntingdon football program. The passion he brings to the game electrifies the players, the field and the crowd. We congratulate him on his success and thank him for all he contributes to Huntingdon athletics."

The other members of the Hall of Fame class are former Troy President Ralph Adams, former football coach Billy Atkins, current football coach Larry Blakeney, former quarterback Sim Byrd, current men's basketball coach Don Maestri, Vergil Parks McKinley (Troy's first football coach), former women's basketball player Denise Monroe, former track and field standout Charles Oliver, former baseball coach Chase Riddle and former Troy defensive end and current Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware.

"To be included in this first class of people is really overwhelming," Turk said. "For me, when I look at the other people that are being inducted, I just don't put myself in that same category. When I think about the other football people in this class, coach Blakeney, Sim Byrd and DeMarcus Ware, those are guys that are icons.

"To be mentioned with them and the other inductees, it is still hard for me to believe. It really is."

Huntingdon athletic director Buzz Phillips said there is no doubt Turk belongs in this group.

"I was at Troy in 1968 when we won the national championship. Billy Atkins was the coach of that team and Sim Byrd was the quarterback and both are in this class," Phillips said. "Don Maestri has won a lot of games and had much success with the basketball program and Chase Riddle led the baseball program to two national titles and is Troy's winningest baseball coach. Mike Turk fits in that group. What he did at Troy, both on the field and later as an assistant coach, speaks for itself."

Turk, who was enshrined as a member of the ninth class of the NCAA Division II Football Hall of Fame in 2007, is the Trojans' third all-time leading rusher with 2,533 yards and holds the Troy record for rushing yards by a quarterback. His 32 career rushing touchdowns ranks second and is tops among Troy quarterbacks.

Turk's 6,707 yards of career total offense ranks fourth and his 62 touchdowns responsible for (passing and rushing) are second in school history. He also ranks sixth in career passing yards (4,174), sixth in pass attempts (490), seventh in completions (245) and seventh in passing touchdowns (30).

After his playing career, Turk joined the Trojans' coaching staff and served as an assistant for 13 seasons before becoming the head coach at Huntingdon in 2004. When he left Troy for Huntingdon, Turk had played or coached in 20 of the Trojans' 22 postseason games.