A proud hometown native with a well-known traditional strong family name has officially been hired as the new Hope Bobcat Head Football Coach and Co-Activities Director of Hope Public Schools. Phillip Turner, a 1997 Hope High School graduate and former standout Bobcat who performed as a multiple sport athlete earning All-Conference in football, basketball and track was hired as the new head football coach and co-activities director.

A proud hometown native with a well-known traditional strong family name has officially been hired as the new Hope Bobcat Head Football Coach and Co-Activities Director of Hope Public Schools. Phillip Turner, a 1997 Hope High School graduate and former standout Bobcat who performed as a multiple sport athlete earning All-Conference in football, basketball and track was hired as the new head football coach and co-activities director.

The Hope Public Schools Board voted Tuesday to accept the recommendation given by HPS Superintendent Bobby Hart to hire Turner and replace Jay Turley, who had been HHS head football coach since 2010 and was named co-activities director for HPS in 2017. Turley recently resigned from his duties in HPS and to serve as principal of Prescott Junior High School in Prescott.

Turner, who coached six years from 2012-2018 in Ashdown High School athletic program excelled as an assistant coach in football and head coach for track and field. Turner coached the offensive line, wide receivers and defensive backs from 2012-2014, before taking over as the offensive coordinator in 2015-2018 for the Ashdown Panthers football team. Ashdown clinch the playoffs each season Turner coached and was one of the top-ranked teams in the state for Class 4A that featured a host of D-I prospects with 13 All-American and one 5-star ranked No. 1 in the state during his coaching reign in Ashdown. 

Turner has always wanted to have the opportunity to coach his hometown Bobcats and believes this is a blessing to return back to his home roots to lead his high school alma mater on the gridiron to be commander-in-chief as Hope head football coach. 

"I always wanted to come back and coach in Hope. My head football coach in Ashdown [Matt Richardson] told me about the head coaching job in Hope and said I was ready for it. I prayed about it with my wife [Jessica] and everything worked out. I'm just excited and ready to get started and meet the coaches and kids," Turner said.

HPS Superintendent Hart believes Turner will lead the football program productively with excitement and class.

In statement from Hart on hiring Turner, "Hope Public Schools is proud to announce the hiring of Phillip Turner as our new Head Football Coach and Co-Activities Director. Phillip will undoubtedly bring a passion and energy level to all our programs and will work tirelessly to improve outcomes on and off the field for our young people." 

"All of HPS will be impacted by the work that Coach Turner is emarking on. He fits tremendously with our philosophy of providing kids and parents with our best daily, and holding the adults as well as the students accountable for the results. I do want to thank our search committee for their work and attention to the process," Hart said. 

"This hire addresses and exceeds the core values that the committee and district wanted in our next Head Football Coach/Co-AD. Coach Turner's commitment to academics, his kid-focused and accountable leadership style, his vision for our programs and students, his organizational skills, and his energy level are congruent with our districts demands for leaders in our district. Please join me in welcoming home Coach Phillip Turner," Hart said.

Turner started his coaching career for three years in Queen City, Texas and coached junior high football, track and basketball and coached the varsity secondary and wide receivers. He became varsity basketball coach at Queen City High School in 2009, while coaching varsity girls’ track and assisting the varsity boys team through 2011. 

When arrived in Ashdown from 2012-13, Turner served as head boys track coach and assistant varsity football his first year. He was head ninth grade basketball coach and assistant coach in varsity basketball and led the boys track team to a district runner-up finish in 2013-14.

In 2014-15, Turner led the Ashdown boys track team to another district runner-up finish and a district championship in ninth grade basketball. The following year 2015-16, Turner took over the duties as the offensive coordinator for the football team along coaching the wide receivers and secondary and managed game plan each week. He assisted in ninth grade basketball that produced a district championship while assisting in varsity basketball.

In 2016-17, Turner led the Ashdown Panthers track team to the district championship and finished Class 4A State Runner-up. In 2017, the Panthers track team was 1A-4A Indoor State Runner-up and assisted in varsity basketball that finished district champions and state quarter finalist.

With a extraordinary and impressive track and field coaching background, Turner feels as passionate about football as track. He wants to build back the track program in Hope with success as it was when is performed as Bobcat.

"I really want to push the track program and put in the time and work hard everyday," Turner said.

According to Turner, he had over 60 student-athletes competed at the district meet and 31 at the state meet this past season for track in Ashdown and strongly believes progress can be made in Hope.

He's all about trying to promote the student-athletes and teach them the important values in life so they'll be productive citizens. Of course, winning and competing is a focus, but Turner knows the education aspect must come first and he's going to strive to keep a positive and working mentality for the kids to excel in the classroom as well as on the field. 

For Turner's educational background, he graduated from Henderson State University in 2001 with a B.S. in Human Services; Minor in Sociology. He graduated from Texas A&M-Texarkana in 2012 with a Master's in Curriculum Instruction. He completed the Alternative Certification Program for Teaching with a grade point average of 3.0; along earning a Teacher Certification K-12 in Physical Education and 419 Technology Certification. 

Turner also taught in the Hope Public Schools from 2011-2012 as a Physical Education Teacher. He provided students with a healthy and positive environment, helped students work toward creating a healthier lifestyle and promoted them to be physically active and encourage participation in daily activities.

He was Physical Education and Technology Teacher in the Ashdown School District and provided students with a healthy and positive environment to learn. He helped students work toward grasping the importance of basic computer skills.

As this will be Turner's first head football coaching job on the high school platform, he knows the journey will be challenging, but with a well-known family name of success in coaching will propel him through this task as did his uncle of Hope's coaching legend Johnny Turner.

[Phillip] Turner feels blessed to have been guided under the coaching expertise from his longtime uncle Johnny Turner who has coached in Hope since the 1980's through 2010 when retired. A lot of success has been achieved while Johnny Turner coached in Hope as well as when he was head coach in the early 2000's through retirement. [Phillip] Turner knows this will be a great opportunity to lead the Bobcat football program and very enthuse to work toward building back relationships with the student-athletes, which was one of the factors that allowed Johnny Turner to leave a successful legacy as a coach.

"This opportunity to be the head coach of feels great. My uncle [Johnny Turner] kept us around sports and I thank him all the time. He gave me an opportunity and showed me when I was volunteering and always put the kids first," Turner said.

"I think it will be fun and exciting, but challenging. I will have to go out and work my butt off and get the kids to see that and they'll work hard too," Turner said.

Apart of Turner's philosophy in the Hope's athletic program emphasizes on building back the community to support again and build relationships with everyone as well as the student-athletes. He wants to instill family values and importantly have "Bobcat Pride" to show perseverance, discipline, integrity, respect and strive for excellence for life and academics.

He aims to produce better citizens for the future for the kids first, then know the wins will come.

Most importantly, Turner has a strong background of faith in Jesus Christ and believes having this philosophy in a program brings a positive motive and effect to maintain progression for success.

He will serve along side Susan Powers as co-activities director for Hope Public Schools.

Turner is married to wife Jessica Turner with two daughters Ashlyn Turner and Kamryn Turner.