Turner steps down as Dayton football coach

Rob Turner

Rob Turner

Dayton High head football coach Rob Turner has resigned after four years on the job.

Turner, who took over after Rick Walker left the program, compiled an 18-21 overall record, including 15-20 against Northern Division 1A competition.

“I know I’m going to miss it I’m sure,” he said Tuesday night. “It’s the right thing to do right now. I’ve been thinking about it for a while. My daughter is going to be a senior next year, and I want to watch her play volleyball. My son (Jake) and my grandson are moving back to Nevada, and I want to spend time with them.

“I’ve been coaching a long time, 18 years. Eight of those years I coached three sports at a time (football, basketball and track). I did that the first four years when I was in Montana and the first four years here. The time commitment was starting to get to me. I will miss the boys so much.”

Turner said he almost stepped down after his son, Jake, stopped playing. He stayed on at the urging of Kay Berntson, who served as offensive coordinator this year.

Principal Greg Logan said he and Turner had talked about things more than once, and he’s sorry to see Turner step down.

“He had a great season,” Logan said. “They were on a roll at the beginning of the season. When Rick stepped down, I don’t think that the program skipped a beat.”

Turner was the defensive coordinator in Walker’s last season, making it a seamless transition the following year.

Logan said there’s some local interest, but wouldn’t disclose any names. He did say, however, there may not be a teaching job available. He admitted it would be an advantage to have an on-campus coach because of the contact that person has with a student-athlete.

“It’s hard to ask a person in business to leave his job at 2 p.m. to go to Elko,” Logan said.

Turner’s biggest regret was he was unable to lead the Dust Devils into the playoffs. He had two 5-5 seasons, his first and last years, and was 4-5 and 4-6 in his middle two seasons. A couple of seasons, a playoff bid was within reach until the last week of the season.

Low numbers have made it tough to have much success. Dayton hasn’t had a freshman program for many years, and that probably won’t change any time soon. Dayton, with approximately 700 students, is one of the smallest schools in Northern 1A.

“It’s frustrating when I go to Elko and they have 55 kids, and I suit up 23,” Turner said. “The bottom line is I have to coach the kids up to play at that level if we want to succeed.”

Turner said he has mixed feelings about the rubic system that Las Vegas uses. Basically the top two teams in 1A would go up to D-1 for the next realignment cycle, and the bottom two Division 1 teams would move down.

The Dayton coach said the biggest win actually came in 2011 when the Dust Devils knocked off Fallon 26-13. According to MaxPreps, Tyler Firestone rushed for 150 yards and two scores that game.

“We went into their place and beat them,” Turner said. “It was a David and Goliath kind of thing.”

Turner didn’t discount returning to coaching, but he also said it wouldn’t be any time soon.

“It was never my intention as an educator to be a coach the entire time,” Turner said. “My passion is in the classroom.”


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