Turner West, who has experience coaching in the NFL and college, has been named the special teams coach for the Georgia Southern football program under head coach Clay Helton. He comes to Statesboro after serving as the special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator at The Citadel for the previous two seasons.
“We are excited to introduce Turner West to Eagle Nation as our new special teams coordinator,” Helton said. “Heading into the 2022 season, we wanted to invest heavily into our special teams units. We are giving our team someone whose entire focus and role is the success of this phase of the game. Turner has coached at the absolute highest level, having spent four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. His special team units at The Citadel ranked among the top in the nation for efficiency, and the production of his specialists were among the elite in college football. Being a South Carolina native and having recruited South Georgia, Turner intimately knows our southeast recruiting footprint. I look forward to an aggressive and productive special teams unit under Coach West’s leadership.”
“It’s a privilege and an honor to join Coach Helton’s inaugural staff at Georgia Southern University,” West said. “The supportive fan base and the rich history that the program has makes this an unbelievable opportunity! I can’t wait to get to work! Hail Southern!”
In 2021, All-American punter Matt Campbell was selected first-team All-SoCon for the fourth time, while long snapper Steele Judy was named to the second team. As a senior, Campbell averaged 44.2 yards on 45 punts with a long of 84 yards, with 13 punts downed inside the 20-yard line and 12 punts going 50 yards or longer. Judy snapped on all punts and field goals without a bad snap and was credited with a tackle.
In his first year with the Bulldogs, West mentored one of the country’s most experienced and consistent special teams units. The Bulldogs returned all key components of their unit, including All-American long snapper Patrick Keefe and Freshman All-American Matt Campbell. The group proved to be one of the best in the FCS as they ranked sixth in net punting at 40.41 yards per punt. They also ranked 13th in punt return average at 4.0 yards per return. Individually, Campbell ranked eighth in punting at 44.1 yards per punt. He now owns two of the top three single-season punt averages in school history.
Kicker Jacob Godek converted all 43 of his extra points in 2019 while also hitting on eight field goals. He ended his career as the school’s all-time leader with 113 extra points, including ending his career by making 105 straight. The Bulldog punt block unit blocked a pair of punts on the season, both coming against Elon. Sean-Thomas Faulkner blocked both punts in that game to earn Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors. His most crucial kick came in overtime when he hit from 37-yards out to give the Bulldogs a 27-24 overtime victory over Georgia Tech.
West joined the Bulldogs after spending the previous season as the linebackers coach at Austin Peay.
West spent four seasons as a defensive assistant with the Dallas Cowboys before his time with the Governors. While with the Cowboys, West worked with passing game coordinator/linebackers coach Matt Eberflus, where he assisted with the development of the linebackers. During his time in Dallas, his star pupil was Sean Lee, one of the top linebackers in the NFL. In 2016, Lee recorded career highs with 174 tackles and 12 tackles for loss. He was named All-Pro and earned his second consecutive Pro Bowl nod.
West went to the NFL after spending two years as a graduate assistant at Middle Tennessee, where he worked with the quarterbacks and wide receivers. He began his coaching career as an intern at UAB in 2011 before spending one semester as a volunteer assistant at Samford.
West played wide receiver at Memphis for his father, head coach Tommy West. He received his degree in interdisciplinary studies in 2010.