Whit Turnbow has been a substantial part of the Middle Tennessee golf programs both as a player and assistant coach for nine years - four as a player and he is entering his fifth season assisting the men's and women's programs.
A multi-tasker who strives for excellence in all areas, Turnbow travels with both teams and works with both squads in practice and in tournament play. He also serves as recruiting coordinator for the men and assists with recruiting for the women.
Turnbow is certified as a golf conditioning specialist by GMP Fitness, and he was nominated for the TaylorMade/Adidas National Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2004.
It should come as no surprise that Turnbow is vastly respected by his peers in coaching circlesbecause of his contributions to the development of young talent in both programs.
In his first season as assistant coach (2003), Turnbow helped the Blue Raiders place in the Top 5 four times, including one tournament championship. In all, Middle Tennessee has enjoyed 10 Top 5 finishes on the men's side, as well as 20 Top 5 finishes and four championships on the women's side. The Blue Raiders set the school record for best tournament in 2004 when they shot a 14-under 274 at LSU. Middle Tennessee also won its first two tournaments since 2000 in 2003 and 2006, capuring the 2003 ULM Intercollegiate and the 2006 USF Intercollegiate.
Turnbow was a four-year letterwinner as a golfer at Middle Tennessee from 1996-to-2000, and he helped lead the 2000 team to the Ohio Valley Conference Championship and a berth in the NCAA Regional.
The Blue Raiders were ranked 45th nationally after winning the OVC. Golfweek Magazine ranked Middle Tennessee 46th and MasterCard Collegiate had the team ranked 50th, marking the first time in program history that the Blue Raiders ended the season ranked in the Top 50 in both major polls.
During his playing career at Middle Tennessee, Turnbow played in 31 tournaments with three Top 10 finishes. He maintained a 76.4 scoring average throughout his four years. He debuted with two Top 10 finishes as a Blue Raider - finishing tied for ninth at the USF/Ron Smith Invitational and a sixth-place finish at the Southern Junior/Senior. He competed in all 11 tournaments as a sophomore and shot a career-low round of 69 at the USF/Ron Smith Invitational, good enough to place him eighth in the tournament. He managed to own the lowest scoring average on the team (75) despite being one of the youngest players on the squad. His success continued into his junior year, when he again fired a career-low 69 at the Matlock Invitational.
He also had a round of 70 at the Fall Beach Classic, where he finished 20th. He competed in eight tournaments during his senior year, including the team's victory at the OVC Championships and the NCAA East Regional.
Following his collegiate playing days, Turnbow spent three years (2000-02) competing professionally. He participated in the Hooters, Hurricane, and Developmental Players tours.
Turnbow was named the TrueTemper/TPGA Assistant Professional Player of the Year in 2001. He was the low professional at the Tennessee Open and placed fifth at the Harold Eller Pro-Am, the Coca-Cola Open, and the Wilson Ez-Go Open. He was also low pro at the 2006 Honors/Counicl Fire Pro-Am. During his professional time, Turnbow worked at Lakewood Golf and Country Club in Tullahoma, Tenn., as an assistant to Chuck Lynch. He was the Junior Golf Director at Lakewood and started the first Junior Program at the Fayetteville Country Club.
Turnbow's experience on the course provide a great deal of assistance and he continues to maintain the winning tradition at Middle Tennessee. Turnbow and his wife, Lori, reside in Murfreesboro. Lori, a physical education teacher at Bellwood Discovery School, is a 2000 graduate of Middle Tennessee.