UAA assistant Turner leaving for head coaching opportunity

by Michelle Saport  |   

Alaska Anchorage men's basketball head coach Rusty Osborne announced Monday that assistant coach Cameron Turner is leaving the Seawolf program to become the new head women's basketball coach at Eastern Arizona College.

Turner spent the past six seasons helping the Seawolves accumulate a 116-61 overall record and finish among the top four teams in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference every year, producing 12 first- or second-team all-conference performers. In five seasons as the UAA program's primary recruiting coordinator and lead assistant, the Oregon native was instrumental in the recruitment of such recent stars as Brian McGill, Spencer Svejcar and All-American Suki Wiggs, along with this year's 10-man class that includes a record four NCAA Div. I transfers.

"While I'm happy to be taking the next step in my coaching career, it will be difficult to leave behind all the friends we have made here at UAA and throughout Alaska," said Turner, whose wife Liz hails from the Phoenix area. "With our growing young family and a chance to lead an established and successful program at Eastern Arizona, this was an ideal opportunity for us. Of course, none of this would be possible without Coach Osborne, who not only gave me the chance to prove myself, but was an incredible mentor in my time at UAA."

At Eastern Arizona, Turner takes over an NJCAA Div. I program that has posted four straight 20-win seasons and earned the 2014-15 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference title. EAC is located in Thatcher, 160 miles east of Phoenix.

"I am excited for Cameron as he enters the next phase of his coaching career," said Osborne. "He has grown tremendously during his tenure here, and is ready for the challenge of running his own program. Cameron has turned down opportunities in the past, but with family in Arizona, this was a perfect opportunity to make a move. Although losing assistants is always bittersweet, I truly believe it is a priority for any program to help qualified, loyal assistants become head coaches. Cameron is now the fourth former assistant in the last eight years to become a collegiate head coach, which is a compliment to our program. I want to thank him for his hard work, loyalty and friendship over the past six years. He has been a great ambassador for not only UAA, but also basketball in the State of Alaska. I will miss our daily interaction, but look forward to watching him continue to blossom as an outstanding young coach. We wish him, Liz and their daughters all the best."

Osborne said the Seawolves will move quickly to get a new assistant coach in place for the upcoming season.

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