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Wayne Turner joins Calipari’s staff

Kentucky head coach John Calipari is pleased to announce the addition of former UK guard Wayne Turner to the 2010-11 men’s basketball staff.

Turner, who is currently finishing his undergraduate degree at UK, will assist pre-, during and post-practice and primarily focus on working with UK’s guards.

A newly installed NCAA rule allows returning former players who are working toward their undergraduate degree to be used as on-court staff. With that opportunity Turner, who was part of two national title teams at UK, will join a list of former Wildcats and Calipari assistants and former players who have returned to their schools to finish their degrees.

“I’m really excited to be back in school getting my degree and to have an opportunity to work with the basketball team,” Turner said. “Coach Cal is one of the best, if not the best coach in the world, and who better to learn from. I’m looking forward to the season and feel like I can give some great advice to the players.”

Turner finished his career as the NCAA’s all-time games played leader at 151. A member of Kentucky’s prestigious 1,000-point club (1,170), Turner earned All-SEC status his senior year (Coaches) and was named the 1998 NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player as well as the SEC Tournament MVP that same season.

“I’m so happy to be able to bring back a player and person of Wayne’s stature to our program,” Coach Calipari said. “I’ve always tried to bring former players back to finish their degrees wherever I have been and I applaud the NCAA for this new rule. It’s always been one of the pleasures of my career to bring people back to campus and finish their degrees and let them know their University hasn’t forgotten about them.

“What’s also neat is that we get to help guys like Wayne or Tony Delk or Scott Padgett – all guys who are members of our family – to get their start in coaching and help them pursue their next goals in life,” Calipari said. “I’ve passed this information on to the NBA office and my contacts in the league so that players know this opportunity exists and is available if coaches will allow it on their staffs.”

Calipari, who recruited Turner out of Boston’s Beaver Country Day high school while coaching at UMass, said that he will be a valuable asset to the current team.

“Wayne will do a lot of work with our guys before and after practice, but there could be times when he needs to strap it on and jump in for practice,” Coach Calipari said. “I used to be able to do that myself, but not anymore!

“It’s funny, when I was recruiting him and I lost him to Kentucky, but I was okay with it because it was Kentucky! At that point, when UK or Duke or UNC wanted a kid, they got him,” Coach Calipari recalled. “It’s interesting to be on the other side of that now.”

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  1. LindaS

    Holy Moly, how exciting, welcoming back another Wildcat to the fold. Can’t imagine how exciting it must be to be back to coach where you use to play. Welcome home to your Old Kentucky Home, Wayne! Go Cats!

  2. Jan in Indiana

    I always love seeing former CATS on the sidelines for Kentucky, It just makes me feel good for them. Like I’m always saying, once a CAT, always a CAT!!!

    Welcome home Wayne Turner

  3. Pauline

    Welcome Wayne, you were always one of my favorite players at UK. Looking forward to seeing you this year.

  4. Dale Castle

    This is such exciting news that Wayne is finishing his degree and is home in the Big Blue Nation where he belongs. His insights into basketball play and the NBA will be so valuable to the players who look to fill his shoes someday. I can’t wait to see him on the sidelines, and I hope he can have a great career as a coach. He deserves to excel after all the joy he brought to us as a player for UK.


    A Championship player helping build Championships. How many other schools in the country have that on thee coaching staff. I’m sure there are a couple but not many. Coach CAl is unbelievable in his understanding of the BBN. I mean this guy really gets it.



  6. mike4uk

    Why on Sat. in the middle of football season are the 1st 3 stories about b-ball. Get ready for some Football.

  7. gmoyers

    It is a great move both for UK and Wayne, one of the all-time favorites at UK.
    And Mike — easy answer. Two were breaking news and one was in anticipation of breaking news on Bledsoe. Also, believe it or not, I have other things to do here and Friday night-Saturday morning are devoted to high school football coverage that myself and my staff does here.

  8. Nashville Cat

    Remember whe Billy G reached out to ex-cats. oh wait.

    I love Cal. And I love Turner. I was in high school in the mid 90s and he was one of my favorite cats. I thought he always went underated and really could run an offense. good to see him back. Now if we can only get Gimal Martenez and his super porn stache back in Rupp, things will be set right again.

  9. Karen Sprinkle

    Wow, I wonder what the haters who swear that Calipari just uses players and discards them will make of this story? How do they make stories like this fit that misconception? It’s always been evident to me from day one that Cal truly cares about his former players and their lives after their basketball careers. It’s great to see him reach out to our former Wildcats and bring them back into the fold to get their degrees and potentially join the coaching ranks after the player days are over.

    Congrats to Wayne Turner and to UK for a great addition.

  10. larry vaught

    Great point Karen. And Padgett, Delk and Turner were not even his players, but they are UK guys and now that makes them his guys. Have to love that

  11. Tana

    I’m happy for Wayne Turner. Also, Karen and Larry, I, too, really like how Coach Calipari both cares for his former players and gets former Wildcats involved in his program.

  12. lefty

    I marvel at each direction cal is turning an already storied program into! this man was what our basketball program was sorely needing. Iam 82yrs.I long tosee another flag in the rafters of rupp!! cat fan of60yrs! lefty.

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