DAYTON - Rob Turner, who has coached several different sports at Dayton High School in the past 10 years, has been named the school's new football coach.
The 40-year-old Turner steps in for Rick Walker, who announced his retirement at the end of last season. Walker was with the Dayton program for 10 years, nine of those as head coach.
Kevin Kranjec, Dayton's athletic director, said that Turner accepted the job late last week and was approved at this week's meeting of the Dayton school board.
The finalists for the job were Turner, who assisted Walker last year, and JV coach Brady Ovard, the former standout player at Douglas High. Turner said that Ovard has agreed to stay on the staff and will serve as head JV coach again.
"It was a tough decision," Kranjec said. "It was a panel decision. He's been a head coach in football, basketball and track here. We thought he was equipped to be the head coach. He knows and has coached a great majority of the kids."
Turner was Dayton's JV football coach for three seasons before resigning to spend more time with his family and help coach his son's youth football teams. He came back last season and coached the defensive line for Walker.
Turner is currently coaching the track team, which has turned out stars like Kathie Arias and Erika Garcia.
"I've always missed coaching high school football," said Turner, who also was the head coach for a junior high team in Montana prior to moving to Nevada. "I got out (the first time) because my son (Jake) was playing youth football. It was too hard to split time coaching high school and his youth football team.
"I know the junior and seniors really well. I've coached most of them either in youth football, youth basketball or Little League. I have a really good relationship with them."
Turner believes that the participation for varsity will be high.
"The numbers are going to be pretty good," Turner said. "I think we'll have close to 30. The numbers were pretty good when Rick (Walker) had his good teams. That will help a lot."
Dayton hasn't had a freshman team for a while, and Turner, as much as he'd like to have one, doesn't believe there will be enough to have one next fall.
"I haven't been involved in youth football for a while," Turner said. "I know that the eighth-grade group from last year had 15 or 16 kids.
"I don't know what the reason is (for low turnout). We have a core group of pretty good athletes. We always get a few freshman that come out for the first time when they reach high school."
One of Turner's ideas is to have a youth football camp, which hopefully may introduce some new players to Dayton football. Turner said he and his assistants, with help from current players, would run the camp.
Besides Ovard, Steve Yeater will serve as offensive coordinator. Other than Yeater, Turner doesn't have anybody else in place.
One thing Turner would like to do is create a sense of community when it comes to high football at Dayton.
"When I coached in Montana, every business would shut down," Turner said. "Everybody was at the game. I'd love to have the same thing here."