MEDFORD—After a two-and-a-half-month vacancy, North Medford has filled its football head coaching position and has tabbed Steve Turner as successor to Mike Mitchell.
It amounts to a homecoming for the 63-year-old Turner, who served as a defensive coordinator for the Black Tornado for ten years in the late 1980s and 1990s, and helped lead them to their last state title in 1993.
In 40-plus years of coaching, Turner has amassed a record of 102-72.
Turner most recently was an assistant at Marist Catholic, a position which he held for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He began his coaching career in 1976 as an assistant at Cascade High in Turner, where he spent nine seasons and helped the Cougars to a class 3A state championship in 1980.
Turner spent three seasons (starting in 1985) at Rainier High School—his first as a head coach—before arriving at North Medford in 1988.
A decade later, Turner moved to eastern Oregon and took the head coaching position at Crook County High in Prineville. From Crook County, he went to Mountain View High School in 2005 and was promoted to head coach for the 2008 season.
He guided Mountain View to its first state championship in 2011, which kicked off a trend of going out on top.
After the 2011 state championship and four years as Mountain View’s head coach, he decided to go back to where it all began at Cascade.
Turner spent four seasons at Cascade, won the 2015 class 4A state championship, and then decided to retire, from teaching and from coaching, in January of 2016.
It turned out he couldn’t be away from the game for long, evidenced by his recent stint as an assistant at Marist Catholic and now as the new head coach at North Medford.
He inherits a Black Tornado program coached by Mitchell for the past six years, and one that’s coming off a 3-7 record in 2017.
Turner said North Medford was the only school that could have taken him out of retirement from being a head coach, due to the strong football tradition and family he has in the area.
Turner is a native of San Francisco and was married in Medford.
He graduated from Willamette University in Salem and was a standout defensive player for the Bearcats.