Two-time NCAA basketball champion Wayne Turner (BCDS ’95) has returned to the University of Kentucky to coach and complete his degree. Turner, a point guard who remains Beaver’s all-time high scorer with 2542 points, has played professionally since leaving Kentucky in 1998
Former University of Kentucky point guard Wayne Turner has joined John Calipari’s basketball coaching staff, the team announced Friday.
Turner helped the Cats to the 1998 national championship, scored 1,170 points in his career and ranks fourth on the school’s career assist list with 494.
Turner will work on UK’s staff while finishing his undergraduate degree. He’ll work with UK guards, the school said in a news release.
UK noted that a new NCAA rule permits former players who are completing degree work to be used as on-court staffers.
“I’m really excited to be back in school getting my degree and to have an opportunity to work with the basketball team,” Turner said in the release. “Coach Cal is one of the best, if not the best coach in the world, and who better to learn from? I’m looking forward to the season and feel like I can give some great advice to the players.”
Turner played in an NCAA-record 151 games for Kentucky. Among honors he received were being named 1998 NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player and SEC Tournament MVP the same season.
“I’m so happy to be able to bring back a player and person of Wayne’s stature to our program,” Calipari said in the release. “I’ve always tried to bring former players back to finish their degrees wherever I have been, and I applaud the NCAA for this new rule. It’s always been one of the pleasures of my career to bring people back to campus and finish their degrees and let them know their university hasn’t forgotten about them.”
Other former UK players to work on Calipari’s staff have been Tony Delk and Scott Padgett. As Massachusetts coach, Calipari recruited Turner out of Boston’s Beaver Country Day school.
“Wayne will do a lot of work with our guys before and after practice, but there could be times when he needs to strap it on and jump in for practice,” Calipari said. “I used to be able to do that myself, but not anymore.”