Turpin names Kent McCullough as its next head football coach

Posted at 8:42 PM, Feb 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-27 21:24:35-05

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Turpin named Kent McCullough its head football coach Monday after the Forest Hills School District approved his hiring.

"It's a great opportunity," McCullough told "I got to see (Turpin) first-hand in the first round of the (Division II) playoffs last year. It's an opportunity that is hard to pass up."

McCullough, a former Miami University punter, was 39-26 in his six seasons at Harrison. McCullough takes over for longtime Turpin coach Rob Stoll, who said he stepped down in late December in order to find a better work-life balance.

McCullough, an intervention specialist, starts his coaching studies at Turpin this week.

"Kent has done great things at Harrison and has built it to be a successful program," Turpin athletic director Eric Fry said. "We have a similar makeup of athletes, so we feel he will be able to motivate and coach our kids to continued success."

Harrison, a Southwest Ohio Conference member, made the postseason in four of McCullough's six seasons. Harrison is not expected to name any interim coaches this week.

"I am more proud of watching all those kids graduate," said McCullough, a Pittsburgh native. "Sixteen kids went on to play college football. For Harrison -- that's a lot, that's big number."

Turpin, a member of the Eastern Cincinnati Conference, had one of its best seasons in program history this past fall. The Spartans were undefeated on the varsity, junior varsity and freshmen levels in the regular season.

McCullough, 38, said he was impressed by Turpin's academics and athletics reputation. He likes the work ethic he's seen from the program and is eagerly awaiting to get started in the district.

His first order of business is to meet with the seniors on the team on Tuesday. He will meet with the parents and community soon after that.

"Rob has done a great job there," McCullough said. "Rob and I -- we might have different personalities in how we do certain things but I think definitely when it comes to the game of football we speak the same thing along the lines of attention to details, fundamentals and being physical."

Turpin (11-1) was the No. 2 seed in Division II, Region 8 and was ranked No. 2 in the season's final Associated Press statewide poll.

The 11 wins for Turpin were in the top three for victories in a season in program history, according to Fry. The Spartans were also outright Eastern Cincinnati Conference champions.

Turpin made nine playoff appearances under Stoll, including seven consecutive showings from 2006-12, and will open the 2017 season against visiting McNicholas.

"Kent has experience at every level of football but his work and success at the high school level made him a great fit at Turpin," Fry said. "He is very respected in the city as a coach; he also is a great educator, which is the perfect combo for Turpin High School."