Turk Joins Drake Relays Coaches Hall of Fame

first_imgHe tutored Andrew Riley to four NCAA titles: 2010 and 2012 NCAA Outdoor 110 hurdles; 2011 NCAA Indoor 60 hurdles; and 2012 NCAA outdoor 100. During his coaching tenure at Illinois athletes have accumulated 81 NCAA All-American honors, won 29 individual and relay Big Ten Conference titles and set 21 school records. Turk is in his eighth season as head coach at Illinois and 13th overall. Since taking over as head men’s coach following a last place finish at Big Ten Conference Championships in 2010, Turk has led the Illini back to the top of the Big Ten, highlighted by four Big Ten runner-up finishes and the 2015 Outdoor Big Ten Championship. Illinois won the inaugural Hy-Vee Cup in 2013, scoring 38 points. Vanier Joseph won the 110 hurdles title with the second-fastest time in school history .The 4×100, 4×400 and 4×800 relays grabbed runner-up honors, while the sprint medley and distance medley relays each finished third. Illinois shared the 2014 Hy-Vee Cup title with Arkansas as Joseph defended his 110 hurdles crown while the 400, 1600, sprint medley and distance medley relays all claimed top-three finishes. Mike Turk, who has coached 81 NCAA All-Americans during his successful career as head track and field coach at Illinois, will be inducted into the Drake Relays Coaches Hall of Fame during an April 25, Thursday luncheon at the Courtside Club, Shivers Basketball Practice Facility on the Drake campus.Turk will be the 88th inductee into the Drake Relays Coaches Hall of Fame, which was established in 1977 with charter members John L. Griffith (Drake), Harry Gill (Illinois), Tom E. Jones (Wisconsin), Clyde Littlefield (Texas), Leo Johnson (Illinois) and Bill Easton (Drake, Kansas). During his tenure as head coach, Illinois has captured 10 Drake Relays titles, including seven individual events, while winning four straight Hy-Vee Cup men’s championships. Illinois made it a three-peat in 2015 by taking the Hy-Vee Cup once after winning five events. Ian Barnett captured the 5,000 title to start things off followed by victories from Cam Viney-400 hurdles, Dylan Lafond-3000 steeplechase as well as wins from the 4×400 and sprint medley relays. For the fourth year in a row, the Fighting Illini claimed the Hy-Vee Cup title in 2016, using runner-up finishes in the sprint medley, distance medley and the 4×800 relays. Turk won the College Conference Illinois and Wisconsin outdoor title in the shot put in 1984, while competing at Augustana (Ill.) where he graduated in 1985. Print Friendly Version In his first season as head coach during the 2011 Drake Relays, Illinois broke an 18-year-old school record en route to winning the men’s university 4×100 relay in 39.17, while Kyle Engnell captured the men’s 3,000 steeplechase. Senior Colin Mickow won the men’s 10,000 in 2012. In the fall of 2017, Turk assumed head duties of the consolidated men and women’s track and field programs at Illinois. Turk has guided the Illinois program to four top-15 NCAA Championship finishes with the Fighting Illini placing 10th at the 2015 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Championship which was the school’s highest finish since 1988. The Illini men have been the most dominant squad in Drake Relays history, holding the record for the most overall titles (140), most individual titles (68) and most relay titles (72). Turk served as an assistant on Illinois’ staff for four seasons, beginning in 2006. He also was head coach at Western Michigan during the 2003-04 campaign. Turk becomes the fourth Illinois coach to be inducted into the Drake Relays Coaches Hall of Fame, joining Gill and Johnson along with former women’s head coach Gary Winckler who was inducted in 2010. Since 2008, Turk has coached current American indoor and outdoor recorder holder Gia Lewis-Smallwood in the women’s discus. A 2001 All-American and Big Ten champion at Illinois, Lewis-Smallwood is a four-time USA champion, three-time World Championships team member and a 2012 Olympian. After setting a school indoor record with a 9:29.19 clocking at the Alex Wilson Invitational hosted by Notre Dame Feb. 16, Illinois looks to challenge the existing Drake Relays record in the university distance medley relay of 9:30.45 set by SMU in 1983.last_img