Fresh off his first post-season victory as a head coach, Carson-Newman football coach Mike Turner announced his retirement at a Monday afternoon press conference. 

Turner took over the program on Nov. 15, 2016 when legendary coach Ken Sparks retired.

It was the culmination of a lifetime spent with the Eagles. He was an offensive lineman on Carson-Newman’s 1972 NAIA National Championship runner-up and he served as offensive coordinator under  Sparks for 33 years.

Along the way, the Eagles won five NAIA national championships and played for a national championship in the NAIA and NCAA Division II nine times.

Turner took over the program on Nov. 15, 2016 when Sparks retired.

In the first round of the playoffs, the 25th-ranked Eagles knocked off No. 11 Bowie State, 17-9.

“It’s more about those kids,” Turner said. “We were at a point a few weeks ago where we had a tough loss at Lenoir-Rhyne. We talked in that locker room that if we believe hard enough and work hard enough, we can get ourselves to the playoffs. And that came true. We did the same thing in this game. This is the 26th time that Carson-Newman has been in the playoffs, but the first time for these kids. Just to see them battle back and keep the faith and keep going, I’m just real excited for them.”