An assistant coach at Southern Methodist University for the last seven years, including the last four in the role of associate head coach, K.T. Turner has been named the associate head coach at The University of Texas. The 42-year-old Turner brings 15 years of collegiate coaching experience to the sidelines.
“I’m very excited about K.T. joining our program,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said. “He brings a wealth of experience and a tremendous basketball pedigree. K.T. will do a terrific job coaching on the floor and building strong connections with our guys and future Longhorns!”
During Turner’s seven seasons on the SMU staff, the Mustangs compiled an overall record of 160-71 (.693), won a pair of American Athletic Conference regular-season titles (2014-15 and 2016-17) and two AAC Tournament championships (2015, 2017) and made two NCAA Tournament appearances (2015, 2017). SMU earned spots in The Associated Press’ Top 25 during four of his seven years, climbing as high as No. 8 in 2015-16. He spent his first three seasons working as an assistant for legendary coach Larry Brown, before serving under Tim Jankovich during his final four years at SMU.
Turner helped three Mustangs earn AAC Player of the Year honors, as Nic Moore claimed the accolade in both 2014-15 and 2015-16 and Semi Ojeleye garnered the honor in 2016-17. SMU’s 15 total All-AAC selections in the last seven years is the most in this stretch by any school in the league. Turner also helped develop three players who were selected in the NBA Draft: Semi Ojeleye, No. 37 pick in 2017 by the Boston Celtics; Sterling Brown, No. 46 pick in 2017 by the Philadelphia 76ers; and Shake Milton, No. 54 pick in 2018 by the Dallas Mavericks.
“I am honored to join the Texas Longhorns Basketball family,” Turner said. “This program has a rich basketball history, is one of the premier programs in the Big 12 Conference, and is the flagship university of this great State.
“Coach Smart has built a culture that embodies core values I appreciate and completely align with,” Turner continued. “I look at this as an opportunity to help this prestigious program reach the level we know it’s capable of. The alumni of Texas Basketball are one of the nation’s elite and I am thrilled to get to know them, the Longhorn community, and to get to work with our players and staff.”
In Turner’s initial year in Dallas (2013-14), SMU registered a 27-10 mark (12-6 AAC) and advanced to the NIT Championship game before falling to Minnesota, 65-63. On Feb. 10, 2014, SMU moved into the AP Top 25 (No. 23) for the first time since the 1984-85 season. The Mustangs posted a 27-7 record and claimed the AAC regular-season title with a 15-3 mark in 2014-15. SMU also won the AAC Tournament crown and advanced to the NCAA Round of 32. During the 2015-16 season, the Mustangs tallied a 25-5 record, including a 13-5 mark in the AAC to finish second in the league standings. SMU reached a high of No. 8 in the AP poll after a program-best 18-0 start and was the last undefeated team in NCAA Division I that year.
Turner was promoted to the role of associate head coach prior to the 2016-17 season, and he helped SMU post a 30-5 mark and win the AAC regular-season championship with a 17-1 record. The Mustangs also won the AAC Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Round of 64. During the 2017-18 campaign, SMU began the year with a 13-6 mark that included three wins over ranked opponents, defeating No. 2 Arizona in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, No. 14 USC at home and No. 7 Wichita State on the road. The Mustangs finished the season with a 17-16 mark after leading scorers Jarrey Foster and Shake Milton missed February and March due to injuries.
Prior to his time at SMU, Turner spent the 2012-13 season as an assistant at Wichita State University under head coach Gregg Marshall. The Shockers posted one of the most memorable campaigns in school history, registering a 30-9 mark while advancing to the NCAA Semifinals. Wichita State placed second in the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season standings with a 12-6 record and reached the final of the MVC Tournament.
A No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament, Wichita State defeated Pittsburgh in the First Round before upsetting No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2006. The Shockers used that momentum to power past La Salle and Ohio State the following weekend to advance to the program’s first Final Four since 1965. WSU fell to eventual NCAA Champion Louisville, 72-68, in the NCAA Semifinals.
Turner spent one year (2011-12) as an assistant coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi under head coach Willis Wilson (2011-12). He also worked for two seasons (2009-10 and 2010-11) as an assistant for Steve Eck at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. While at Hutchinson, Turner helped the Blue Dragons post a 53-13 overall record, and Hutchinson reached the NJCAA Division I Region VI semifinals in both of his two years. This marked the first time since the 2003-04 season that Hutchinson had advanced that far in the national tournament.
Prior to his time in Hutchinson, Turner was an assistant under Eck at Cowley (Kan.) College during the 2008-09 season. Cowley posted a 29-5 record, shared the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division championship, reached the NJCAA Division I Region VI title game and ended the year ranked No. 17 in the final NJCAA poll. Turner earned his first Division I coaching job as an assistant for Mike Adras at Northern Arizona University in 2007-08, when the Lumberjacks registered a 21-11 record and finished second in the Big Sky Conference with an 11-5 mark.
Turner served as an assistant coach for Eck at Redlands (Okla.) Community College during the 2006-07 season, and Redlands posted a 29-2 record. He started his collegiate coaching career as an assistant coach at Panola (Texas) Junior College in 2005-06.
Turner began his collegiate playing career at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, where he earned all-conference honors in both the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons while playing under coach Tim Jankovich. He paced the Blue Dragons to a 50-14 record during his two seasons in Hutchinson. Turner then spent his junior season at UT-Arlington (2000-01) before completing his collegiate career at Oklahoma City University in 2001-02. In his senior year at OCU, he helped the Stars claim the Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles and advance to the NAIA quarterfinals.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Turner earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Oklahoma City University in 2003. He played professionally for Benneton Treviso in Italy for three seasons (2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05) before moving into the coaching profession.
Turner (born August 23, 1978) and his wife, Cassaundra, have three children, Kelis, Kenny and Kendra.