Keith Turner to be inducted into the Carter County Sports Hall of Fame

Published 10:48 am Monday, June 20, 2022

BY CY Peters

On Saturday night, June 25, Elizabethton’s former standout Keith Turner will be inducted into the 2022 Carter County Sports Hall of Fame. In the 1982 and 83 seasons, Keith was All-Big 10, all-district tournament, Region MVP and the King of Bluegrass all-tournament team. He was first upper East Tennessee team and was selected all-state. It was coach Len Dugger’s fourth season at Elizabethton, and this 1982-83 team would take him to the state tournament. “Keith was the Heart and Soul of the team, stated Dugger.” “He had a leadership ability that made him special. He loved the game and was always trying to get better.”

The Cyclones were the big ten champs, Regional Champs, Sub State Champs and state final four team with a 31 and 7 record. Keith totaled 15 points and eleven rebounds in Elizabethton’s win over top rank Murfreesboro Oakland (who was 32-0) 53-52 in the state quarter-final. Turner netted 30 points against Bullet Central Kentucky in the Bluegrass Classic.

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Don Holsclaw, Kevin Kiser, Sambo Crowder, William Trammell, Chuck Maggett, Don Holsclaw, Punchy Shearer and Jame Henry, who went to Tech with Turner, were a few of the names Coach Dugger mentioned. Bill Bowers and John Young were pretty loaded with talent, a tremendous group to work with. They worked hard and they played hard; they had a mission. They brought a lot of fans to the gym, stated,” Coach Dugger.

Turner would go on to play at Tennessee Tech where he appeared in 105 career games for the NCAA Division one Golden Eagles. He was OVC rookie of the week, OVC champ in 85 and played in the National Invitational tournament. Keith was selected to play for the U. S. A. Athletes in Action in 1985. He was also the MVP of the team playing in Seoul South Korea pre-Olympic Tournament. Keith was a four-time letter winner and a two-year starter. In 28 games as a sophomore, he shot 50 percent from the field for the 1984, 85 Ohio Valley Conference Champions. It was Tech’s first league title in 22 years and they earned a trip to the national tournament. They played Tennessee to a three-point loss. The eagles opened that season with a 68 to 67 victory at Clemson.

Turner coached for 14 years at Monterey and Unicoi County in boys basketball and two years at Science hill in girls basketball. His team was nationally ranked at number three. Turner registered six 20-game-winning seasons with the Blue Devils from 1990 to 2001, claiming three District Championships, two Conference crowns and one regional title.  His Blue Devils reached the Sub State round in 1992 and 1997. Keith was the 1995-96 Northeast coach of the year.

Turner has been the Science hill Athletic Director since 2006. He is also a TSSAA legislator, council member and vice president for the past three years. He was married to Jenny Pruett a volleyball standout at Sullivan South and Tennessee Tech. She passed away in January 2022. They have three children and nine grandchildren. Keith is currently in his 35th year in education.