Ron Turner would state over and over “I believe in this team.”
Florida International University did not believe in him.
FIU fired head coach Ron Turner on Sunday after a 53-14 home loss to the UCF Knights the day before. The Golden Panthers worst lost of the season up to this point.
Defensive coordinator Ron Cooper will serve as the team’s interim coach.
The loss dropped Turner’s Golden Panthers to 0-4 this season. FIU was outscored by an average of 21 points per game while posting just 13.5 points per game. In all, Turner was 10-30 in three-plus seasons with FIU. He never took the Golden Panthers to a bowl game.
Heads had to roll.
FIU will owe Turner somewhere north of $700,000 in buyout money. Turner’s contract ran through the 2017-18 season.
The game itself started off warm with UCF leading 15-7 in the first quarter. However the Golden Panthers had no answer for Dontravious Wilson who rushed for three touchdowns for the Knights.
Wilson scored all his TDs on runs of 1, 15 and 12 yards on just 10 carries in the first half, the first UCF back to rush for three touchdowns in a half since Storm Johnson in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl.
This may have pulled the plug on Turner’s job. UCF racked up 501 yards total offense with 26 first downs to 189 yards and 11 first downs for FIU. None of the Knights’ scoring drives lasted longer than three minutes, with Wilson’s second TD capping a six-second drive.
The Knights open American Athletic Conference play on the road versus the East Carolina Pirates. The Golden Panthers open Conference USA play versus rival Florida Atlantic University.