LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky football coach Joker Phillips has announced the hiring of David Turner and Mike Summers, both of whom have coached previously at Kentucky, coached at other schools in the Southeastern Conference and have been recruiting coordinators at the Division I level.
Summers, a native of Lexington and former UK graduate assistant coach, comes home from his current post with the University of Arkansas. Turner’s SEC experience includes stints at Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Alabama, and most recently, Mississippi State.
Position responsibilities are familiar for both – Turner with the defensive line and Summers with the offensive line. Phillips is excited about the combination of coaching and recruiting expertise they bring.
“David and Mike bring great experience and recruiting ties as well,” Phillips said. “I’ve followed Mike throughout his career and everywhere he’s been they’ve been productive offensively. When he coached at Louisville, they threw the ball around with the quarterbacks they had, but I thought the most impressive thing was how the line came off the ball and how they ran the ball. He has NFL experience also, that’s something high school linemen like, and he has the experience to get them to that level.
“(Regarding David Turner) Number one, he can recruit,” Phillips continued. “David and I were together here at Kentucky. He did a great job of recruiting. He’s been a recruiting coordinator in the Southeastern Conference and he’s recruited the areas, in addition to Kentucky, that we want to focus on – Georgia, Florida, we might jump into Mississippi junior colleges and he understands those areas. As a coach on the field, I’ve competed against him while he was at Vanderbilt, Alabama and Mississippi State. One of the things you get from his linemen is they play physical and we have to become a more physical football program.”
Here are updates on the new coaches:
Mike Summers’ coaching career has come full circle.
As a graduate assistant coach at Kentucky in the 1980 and ’81 seasons, Summers helped recruit Joker Phillips to play at the University of Kentucky. Three decades later, Phillips returned the favor by recruiting Summers to the UK coaching staff. It was an easy sell, as Summers is happy to come back to his hometown.
“I’m so excited and energized about being back in Lexington,” Summers said. “We’ve stayed in contact with each other (since their first time together at Kentucky) and when I received a call from him, I felt really fortunate that he wants me on the staff. I’m here to do everything I can to support him. He has a great vision of what he wants for this program and a passion for wanting this to be a family atmosphere and those are things that are very encouraging to me.”
Summers, who will coach the offensive line at Kentucky, has been involved with dynamic offenses throughout his career. He returns to Lexington from the University of Arkansas, where he was the assistant head coach and O-Line coach in 2008-09. Summers helped rebuild the Razorback attack the past two years, as Arkansas led the SEC in scoring offense in ’09 and was champion of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. One of his protégés, center Jonathan Luigs, was an All-SEC selection and a finalist for the 2008 Rimington Trophy. Guard Mitch Petrus was a first-team Coaches’ All-SEC honoree in ’09.
Summers got NFL experience with the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 and was the offensive line coach at the University of Louisville from 2003-06. In his last year at Louisville, three of his linemen (Renardo Foster, Kurt Quarterman and George Bussey) earned first-team All-Big East Conference honors and center Eric Wood was a second-team pick. Summers’ line was the power plant for a unit that ranked second in the nation in total offense (475.3 yards per game), seventh in passing (290 per game) and 12th in rushing (185.3).
Two more of Summers’ linemen, Jason Spitz and Travis Leffew, earned identical honors with first-team All-Big East in 2005, first-team All-Conference USA in 2004 and second-team All-Conference USA in 2003.
Foster, Spitz and Wood have played in the NFL while Quarterman, Bussey and Leffew either made active rosters or in-season developmental squads.
Summers’ 2004 line helped Louisville set a school record with 3,005 rushing yards and 47 touchdowns while allowing only 20 sacks and leading the nation in total offense and scoring offense. Louisville also set school records with 6,468 total offensive yards and 597 points scored. In Summers’ first season, the Cardinals reduced sacks allowed from 46 to 13 and set a then-school rushing record while ranking seventh in the nation in total offense and 10th in rushing.
During Summers’ time at Louisville, the Cardinals won a Conference USA championship and a Big East title while playing in the Orange Bowl, Gator Bowl, Liberty Bowl and GMAC Bowl.
Before Louisville, Summers spent two seasons at Ohio (2001-02), where his offense ranked No. 8 in the nation in rushing offense in 2002 (239.8) and No. 6 in 2001 (240.1).
In 2000, Summers was the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State. From 1996-99, he was assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at the University of the South (Sewanee), where his offense ranked as high as fifth in the nation in rushing and second in the conference in total offense during his four seasons.
Summers was at Oregon State from 1991-95, where he was assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. He also was OSU’s recruiting coordinator in his first season. The Beavers led the Pacific-10 Conference in rushing four straight years and he was named the league’s top “Offensive Backfield Coach” in 1993. While at Northern Illinois from 1985-90, he coordinated an offense that established 51 school records and seven NCAA records.
Summers began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Kentucky (1980-81) and Texas A&M (1982-84). The Lexington native is a graduate of Tates Creek High School and Georgetown College, where he played as a defensive back.
Summers and his wife, Kathy, have a daughter, Amy. Kathy is the daughter of legendary Kentucky basketball coach Joe B. Hall.
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Defensive line coach David Turner, whose 24 years of coaching experience features nine seasons at four Southeastern Conference schools, returns to Kentucky for a second stint with the Wildcats.
“The biggest factor in the decision to come back was the opportunity to work for my friend and help him continue to grow this program,” Turner said. “When we were here before, people were very good to me and my family and Lexington is a great place to live.”
Turner guided the Mississippi State defensive line from 2007-09. In his first season at MSU, he helped the Bulldogs to their first postseason appearance in seven years, a championship of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Three of his linemen, second-team All-SEC performer Titus Brown, Jesse Bowman and Cortez McCraney, went on to sign NFL contracts. Turner had another All-SEC honoree in 2009, Pernell McPhee, and a Freshman All-SEC player in Fletcher Cox.
Turner joined the MSU staff after one season at the University of Alabama. He coached the Crimson Tide defensive ends during his lone campaign in Tuscaloosa, and UA finished 23rd nationally in total defense in 2006.
Prior to Alabama, Turner was the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Vanderbilt from 2002-05. One of his linemen, tackle Jovan Haye, went on to the NFL and currently plays with the Tennessee Titans. Vanderbilt had a significant upgrade in talent level during Turner’s term as recruiting coordinator as he helped bring in the players for the Commodores’ eventual Music City Bowl championship in 2008.
A native of Goldston, N.C., Turner also has worked in the Big Ten Conference at Minnesota (2001), where he worked with the defensive ends, and in the Atlantic Coast Conference at Virginia (1997-2000), where he coached defensive tackles and linebackers. He also was co-special teams coordinator in his final season. The Cavaliers played in the Peach Bowl, Micronpc.com Bowl and the Oahu Classic during his term there.
He began his collegiate coaching career in 1986 as an assistant at his alma mater, Davidson College. He worked with the running backs and tight ends over a two-year stretch. In 1988, he moved to North Carolina State, serving two years as a defensive graduate assistant. He worked with a Wolfpack unit that ranked first in the ACC in total defense in 1988 while playing in the Peach Bowl and Copper Bowl.
He spent one year as the defensive line coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, helping the team to a 12-2 overall record while reaching the Division II national championship game. He also worked two seasons at James Madison, helping the Dukes to a 9-4 record and a berth in the 1991 Division I-AA playoffs.
Turner returned to the Division I-A ranks in 1993. He spent two seasons as defensive ends coach at Kentucky, where he worked on the staff with Joker Phillips and helped the Wildcats advance to the ’93 Peach Bowl. In 1995, he went back to N.C. State, coaching defensive ends and linebackers before going to Virginia in ’97.
Turner is married to the former Yvette Modica and the couple has two daughters, Bianca and Alexyia.