Milan Turner, here at Emanuel County Institute, has taken over at Veterans High in Macon

Football: Veterans lures veteran coach Turner to put program on playoff track

For the last four years, Milan Turner has been biding his time at Coffee High School as an assistant coach. An established winner as a head coach, Turner received several offers over the last four years, but it wasn’t until the Veterans job came open that he decided to pursue it.

“I’ve had opportunities, but after praying about it, I didn’t feel the timing was right,” Turner said. “This felt like the right time.”

Turner knows the landscape in Middle Georgia. He was part of the staff that won a state championship at Warner Robins – which will now be his main competition in Region 1. He was at Emanuel County Institute from 2005-10, went 65-12 and won three region championships and a state title in 2007. He went to Thomson for three years and compiled a 24-10 record before stepping away.

Turner is currently assembling a staff, installing a strength and conditioning program and trying to establish the high standards he expects. So far, it’s been a hit. Turner said participation at morning workouts – a 6 a.m. start – was 100 percent.

On offense, Turner said the philosophy will be similar to that used by Auburn or Clemson, with the ability to run the ball. On defense they’ll play a 4-2-5 scheme.

“I want us to be known as a physical football team,” Turner said. 

Veterans began playing football in 2010 and David Bruce was the head coach who started the program. Over the last eight years, the Warhawks have won one region championship, going 8-4 in 2013. Veterans has made the playoffs the last four years, but only once advanced past the first round.

Turner will spend the spring trying to identify the athletes on the roster and start to develop them, placing them in the right spots.

“There are definitely some guys who can be special,” he said.

Veterans will begin its spring practice in May 2 and will finish with a spring game against Westside Macon on May 17. 

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