Shawn Turner has spent more than 20 years coaching baseball.
Turner was not interested in making a change for the sake of change. The veteran coach had interest in specific places.
Those places included Richmond.
Turner was approved Wednesday night as the Red Devils’ new baseball coach. He will also teach math.
“We’re extremely excited,” Turner said. “The Richmond High School program has a long and storied history.”
Richmond has won 29 sectional championships, third most in the state behind only Jasper and LaPorte. The Red Devils also own 12 regional titles and four semistate crowns.
Turner most recently was an assistant coach at Wabash College. Prior to that, he spent 17 seasons leading Terre Haute North High School.
Turned guided that team to the 2014 Class 4A state title game, where his Patriots fell 2-1 to Noblesville.
Turner was 312-194 at North, according to the Terre Haute Tribune Star.
“I’ve been coaching baseball for 26 years,” said Turner, 45. “I’ve had the fortune of being the head coach at a large school and had a moderate level of success there.
“Richmond intrigued me, the commitment the community has to sports in general. … I think that’s important.”
Turner replaces Tyler Lairson, who guided the Red Devils for two seasons. Lairson stepped down last month.
RHS finished 14-14 this past season, and 22-8 in 2014.
“We hope to come in and pick up where coach Lairson stepped off,” Turner said. “You can’t mention Richmond High School for very long without realizing the accomplishments and accolades coach (John) Cate brought to the program. We’re excited for the opportunity and looking forward to getting to know the people of Richmond.”
Turner has also been an assistant coach for Terre Haute North, McCutcheon and West Vigo. He is a Terre Haute North graduate, played baseball at Rose-Hulman and graduated from Indiana State.
Defense will be vital, but not the only focus for Turner’s squad.
“Obviously it’s hard to win a game if you don’t score. We’ve had a pretty strong record of having some good hitters in our program in the past,” he said. “We’ll strive to bring that about as well.”
Turner noted his son, Austin, a junior, played against Richmond with McCutcheon this past spring.
“He was very impressed with their pitching and hitting,” said Turner, who has another son, Nick, in sixth grade.
“I know we are fortunate to have some returning starters, guys with some experience.”
Turner intends for this to be a long-term coaching experience.
“The entire Turner family is extremely excited,” he said. “I’ve got another 20 years of coaching in me.”
Josh Chapin: (765) 973-4463 email@example.com or twitter.com/JoshChapinPI