December 15, 2008
Turnbull Steps Down as Men's Soccer Coach to be Director of Compliance, Cullen to Guide Both Programs
SALISBURY, NC – Catawba College Athletic Director, Dennis Davidson, has announced the promotion of Craig Turnbull to Assistant Athletic Director for Internal Operations and Director of NCAA Compliance. With the promotion, Turnbull has resigned his post as Catawba Head Men’s Soccer Coach. John Cullen, who is head coach for the Catawba women’s program, has accepted the position and will coach both the men’s and women’s teams.
"Craig has served Catawba College very well as soccer coach for 11 years, as his teams won three championships and graduated on time,” said Davidson. “Now, I am confident that he will do equally good work in our athletic administration, in a position that we have needed for quite some time. NCAA compliance work seems to get more complicated each year.”
“Likewise, John Cullen has done a remarkable job in women's soccer and I am excited to see the same strategies put to work within the men’s program as well,” added Davidson.
Turnbull’s 11 years on the bench is the longest for a soccer coach in school history and he guided the team to 114 wins which is the most by a Catawba coach. His teams won a regular season championship, two conference tournament championships and appeared in the conference tournament finals five times. In addition, Turnbull guided the program to its first ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2004 and then followed with two more consecutive appearances in 2005 and 2006.
In 2005, the men advanced to the Round of 16 and Turnbull was named NSCAA Regional Coach of the Year and was a finalist for National Coach of the Year honors. Turnbull’s team members have garnered numerous awards, both athletic and academic with Kenny Crowe (Reeders, PA) receiving 1st Team All-American honors in 2006 being just one of numerous recent highlights.
During Turnbull’s tenure a handful of players moved on to play in professional ranks, currently highlighted by Gareth Turnbull (Christchurch, NZ) in New Zealand’s top professional league and Nathan Zuzga (Troy, MI) in Raleigh for the Cary Railhawks of the A-League. Turnbull posted a 114-99-4 mark at Catawba.
“I would like to thank Catawba College, the athletic department, and all the tremendous players and each of their families that have made these last 11 years a wonderful experience for me and my family,” stated Turnbull. “All my energies have always been to provide the most enjoyable student-athlete experience for the team members within our program. I am exceptionally proud of our program’s excellent on-time graduation rate in addition to our on the field accomplishments during the last decade. I am certain that future years for the program will be bright and new levels of success will be achieved.”
“After almost 17 years of being a college coach, I am excited and eager to now begin a new administrative direction in my career,” continued Turnbull. “I look forward to working more closely with all of our athletic teams at Catawba and assisting them in achieving their team goals each year while in support of the overall mission of Catawba athletics.”
Cullen recently completed his eighth year as the coach of the Catawba women’s program. He has a 113-33-16 mark as a coach, guiding the team to four record-tying 16-win seasons. The women have won two league titles, three tournament championships and have made four NCAA II regional appearances.
“I would like to thank the Catawba College administration for showing the faith in me to lead both programs,” stated Cullen. “I am exceptionally honored and proud to take on board the men’s program and am equally excited about the challenge ahead.”
‘I am looking forward to getting to know the players and continuing the good work that has been done here by Coach Turnbull,” added Cullen. It will be a unique opportunity for me to combine both programs, but I am very excited about the opportunity and with the players, personnel and the staff that we can put a very good product together as we move forward.”
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