Ron Turner graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne College with a degree in Business Administration. While he had a successful business building custom homes for families, he could never let go of his desire to teach and coach. Inspired by the lives of two uncles, who taught and coached football for decades in Florida, Ron left his business for the classroom and the field. He came to Alexander Central as a business teacher and football coach in 2001. Students and teachers were immediately drawn to him because of his easy-going personality and his genuine concern for others. His intensity on the football field was undeniable, however, his desire for his athletes to succeed as young men was equally evident. He was asked to coach men’s tennis – a program that had struggled to even exist. He dedicated himself to that program, his athletes and their families with the same tenacity. Ron recruited athletes to play tennis, taught them the game, and was able to send the team to the playoffs for the first time in school history. He was issued a challenge, and he conquered.
Ron left Alexander Central to become the head football coach at Bunker Hill High School. After three years, he returned to ACHS, much to the excitement of his co-workers and administration. One will discover that it is nearly impossible to be near Ron Turner without smiling and laughing. He has a way of turning any situation from negative to positive and does not give up. He left Alexander Central again to coach at Hickory High School and at Patton High School, but he felt the desire to serve as head coach again. For years, Ron felt that Wilkes Central would be an awesome place to coach, and he saw the opportunity.
He is currently the head coach at Wilkes Central High School and had been at the school for just over two years when doctors discovered a tumor in his lower right leg. He was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma – an extremely rare form of cancer that attacks the soft tissues of the body. After several consultations, it was determined that the only way to truly conquer the disease was to perform an above knee amputation. Ron accepted this remedy without question and with a level of positivity and determination that was unshakable. Even with the months of intense chemotherapy that followed, he only missed one Eagle Football game. He was issued a challenge, and he conquered.
Coach Turner’s positive attitude through his fight with cancer has been an inspiration for everyone in our community. He refused to feel sorry for himself, instead he focused on all the positives that he had in his life. As difficult as it was at times for him, he celebrated in the fact that he was getting to spend extra time with his wife Elisabeth and their two children, Jackson and Brooks. We are proud to recognize our friend Ron Turner as our Coaches vs. Cancer hero.
She has felt a peace from God throughout the process with the prayers and support from so many and hopes to find ways to pay it forward to another person in need. At this time she has completed treatments and is told that the cancer is gone (Praise God)!