Jamaican Olympian Inez Turner, the head coach at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, was named Women's Atlantic Region Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Turner, who represented Jamaica at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, led the Fayetteville State Broncos to their second consecutive Women's CIAA Indoor Track and Field Championship title in the program's three years of existence.

The Broncos captured the podium 32 points ahead of their competition with 155 points in the eight-team championship. Winston-Salem State was the runner-up (132) while Virginia State (66) was third.

The former middle-distance runner was honoured but praised the people who have supported her.

"It is the blood that keeps giving me strength from day to day; it will never lose its power. It flows to the highest mountains and reaches the lowest valleys. When rewarded with an award like this, it comes with support, first from God who bestowed his blessings, sealed and handed me an envelope that must pass through a process.  A process that includes the toughest, resiliency, hard work and dedication," she said on Facebook.

"It is worthy to pay dues that one day will find a way to float back to you unprecedented. To everyone including my student-athletes, my coaches, my AD, Dr Miller, Norwood, King, Ferguson, the whole athletic department, and our Chancellor of Fayetteville State University please know that I do this not by myself. "

At the championships, FSU’s Mya Jackson received Most Valuable Women's Track Athlete after winning the 60-meter hurdles and the 200m while Jade Jordan won the triple and long jumps for the Women's MVP for field events.

Turner has made a huge impact by bringing the Fayetteville State track program back to life since taking over the role of Head Coach in 2017.

In addition to the recent indoor titles, Coach Turner has led the Broncos to three consecutive CIAA Women's Cross-Country Championships in her first three seasons at the helm. The indoor program finished third in the conference in 2017 and the outdoor track and field program was runner-up in the same year.

Coach Turner received the USTFCCCA DII Indoor Atlantic Region Coach of Year Award in 2020.

 

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