State champion coach Carl Turner claims he was fired for running up scores
Virginia Beach Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School football coach Carl Turner parted ways with the team on Wednesday. His departure came after Turner led his team to a 12-0 record and the first state championship in program history, making the move somewhat of a surprise. So what happened?
In a statement on Wednesday evening, Bishop Sullivan claimed Turner has resigned.
“Coach Carl Turner has decided to step down from his position as head football coach at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School,” the statement read, via The Virginian-Pilot. “Coach Turner expressed that he would like to spend more quality time with his family, enjoy watching his son play college football and focus on his professional career.”
Turner’s son Pierce was an All-State senior linebacker last fall and has received interest from several Division-I programs, but Carl said that is not the reason he is leaving Bishop Sullivan. Instead, Turner told The Virginian-Pilot he was fired for running up the score on opponents. He said he knew the axe was coming when he got a text message from athletic director Corey Mistretta on Wednesday morning.
“When I got into (Principal Dennis W. Price’s) office, he looked at me and said, ‘We’re not going to renew your contract,'” Turner explained. “I asked why, and he said, ‘Because we told you not to run the score up and you chose to run the score up on teams.'”
The Crusaders won eight of 10 games by 21 points or more and averaged 480 yards and 50.1 points per game. While Turner did not deny that his team blew some opponents out, he insisted he did not expect it to result in his termination.
“I’m totally devastated,” he said. “I feel like my heart and my guts have been ripped out. Do you know how much time and effort I’ve put into this program?”
In addition to running up the score, there was also an incident involving Turner back in August that resulted in a two-game suspension. The coach had hosted a party at his home where he discovered students drinking, but he said police approved of the way he handled the situation and it had nothing to do with his termination.
In an era where we have seen high school coaches fired for kicking their own players, running up the score doesn’t seem all that bad. Unfortunately for Turner, it sounds like it was enough for Bishop Sullivan to send him packing.
H/T Prep Rally