High School Sports

Turner tapped as next Veterans football head coach


Milan Turner’s coaching career includes being part of large amounts of success as both a head coach and assistant. He’ll carry that experience with him to Kathleen as just the second head coach in the history of Veterans High.

Turner was approved as the Warhawks head coach and athletic director at the Houston County Board of Education’s meeting earlier this week. The hire was confirmed by Beth McLaughlin, director of Community and School Affairs for the Houston school board.

Turner succeeds David Bruce, the only other head school in school history at Veterans. He had held the post from the program’s start in 2010 to the end of this past season, in which the Warhawks finished 2-8. Bruce was 31-54 in eight years at Veterans, a run that included four state playoff berths and a region title in 2013.

“Obviously, a great foundation has been laid in a young program by coach Bruce, who I have a tremendous amount of respect for. That was one of the things to that made the job really attractive, coming into a place where a great foundation has been laid,” Turner said. “Discipline and work ethic has been established, and of course there’s a great community that I am familiar with from my days at Warner Robins.”

Turner will look to mesh his past experience with high-caliber programs to replicate that past success for the Warhawks.

He has spent the past four years as an assistant at Coffee under former Warner Robins head coach Robbie Pruitt, who he also worked under at Fitzgerald. He helped lead the Trojans to a state runner-up finish, a 28-21 loss to Lee County.

He is 89-22 as a head coach, winning the 2007 1A title with Emanuel County Institute and posting a runner-up finish with ECI a year later. He also went 24-10 in three years at Thomson, following behind one of the most legendary coaches in the state of Georgia, Luther Welsh.

“I’ve been very blessed and fortunate to coach in six state title games at five schools. I’ve done all kinds of things in various programs. I think wearing those different hats and seeing the plan and vision for building a successful program and knowing what it takes to have success, it’s been a great experience for me,” Turner said. “I’ve been able to work around great games and learn and glean from them. It’s prepared me well.”

And this won’t be Turner’s first rodeo through Middle Georgia, either. He was part of Warner Robins staff in 2003 and 2004, serving as a defensive assistant and heading up the strength and conditioning efforts for the Demons.

As for what kind of offense to look for Veterans to run? Turner says to watch game tape from Clemson or Auburn.

“We’ll have a lot of Clemson and Auburn style,” Turner said of the Warhawks offensive philosophy. “A lot of inside power counter with quick gains, RPO (run/pass option) and tempo. We feel like it’ll be a fun brand of an exciting offense.”