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K.T. Turner officially joins Kentucky basketball coaching staff

Plus comments from Turner and John Calipari.

K.T. Turner UK Athletics

The Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball program has officially hired K.T. Turner. He joins the team after spending one season as associate head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners.

“I knew that when we had an opening, K.T. Turner would be our next guy I’d be calling on,” John Calipari said in a press release. “I’ve been very impressed with K.T. for as long as I’ve known him. He is from Cincinnati, his father worked for Tony Yates, and he still has ties to the area. He’s an established coach and someone who has a passion for development. He loves spending time in the gym working with kids and helping them continue to push for improvement.

“K.T. has done an excellent job of recruiting Texas, which has always been good to us, and has a terrific ability to connect with young people. He is exactly the coach we were looking for, and I’m thrilled to have him join our family.”

Prior to his lone season at Oklahoma, Turner was associate head coach of the Texas Longhorns in 2020-21.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to work at the University of Kentucky,” Turner said in a press release. “I’ve always wanted to work under John Calipari and be a part of his program. He has been on the forefront of college basketball for a long time. My family is extremely thankful for the opportunity to live in the state of Kentucky and be a part of the Lexington community. There is work to be done and the staff that I am joining is prepared to get this done. We know the mission is to get number nine.”

Before coaching in the Big 12, Turner spent seven seasons as an assistant at SMU. During that time, the Mustangs had a 160-71 record, won two AAC regular-season titles and two AAC Tournament championships. They had two NCAA Tournament appearances and were ranked in the AP Top 25 in four of the seven seasons.

Turner spent three seasons under Larry Brown, a close friend and confidant of Calipari, before working for Tim Jankovich during the next four seasons.

Prior to his work in Dallas, Turner was on the Wichita State staff in 2012-13 when they went 30-9 and made the Final Four.

Turner has also spent time as an assistant at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Hutchinson Community College, Cowley College, Redlands Community College, and Panola Community College.

He began his collegiate playing career at Hutchinson Community College where he earned all-conference honors playing under Jankovich. Turner finished his career at Oklahoma City University and helped the Stars claim the Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles while advancing to the NAIA quarterfinals.

A native of Cincinnati (OH), Turner earned his degree in criminal justice from Oklahoma City University in 2003. Turner played professionally for Benneton Treviso in Italy for three seasons before moving into the coaching profession.

Turner and his wife, Cassaundra, have three children, Kelis, Kenny and Kendra.

Welcome Coach Turner to the Bluegrass!