Kerrie Turner begins her 13th season as head coach of the Bowling Green State University gymnastics program in 2020. Turner was named to the position on Nov. 1, 2007 after serving four seasons as an assistant under Dan Connelly beginning in 2003.
In her first 12 seasons at the helm of the program, Turner has mentored ten Mid-American Conference individual champions and 26 NCAA regional qualifiers (from 14 gymnasts). She was the 2013 MAC Coach of the Year and led the team to its first NCAA regional appearance in 25 years in 2016. Jovannah East became just the second Falcon in program history to appear at the NCAA National Championships in 2018, competing in the all-around.
Turner’s athletes have earned three MAC Freshman of the Year honors and have also captured MAC Senior Gymnast of the Year and MAC Specialist of the Year awards. She has also coached five athletes named first team All-MAC.
In the classroom, the Falcons have shined throughout Turner’s tenure. Under her watch, Falcon gymnasts have been named Scholastic All-American 57 times, while 31 Falcons have earned Academic All-MAC status. In 2016, Lauren Feely was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-American women’s at-large team.
The 2019 season saw Jovannah East and Lauren DeMeno return to the NCAA Regionals with East competing in the all-around and DeMeno in the vault. As a team, the Falcons came away with a fifth place finish at the MAC Championship, including East winning the Beam MAC title.
The 2018 season was one of unprecedented individual success in the program. Jovannah East became the first Falcon to compete in the all-around competition at the NCAA National Championship and just the second BGSU gymnast to qualify in any event. The team placed third at the MAC Championships (the program’s third consecutive top-three finish) and East shared the MAC Championship on vault.
In 2017, the Falcons broke their MAC Championship record set just the year prior with a team score of 196.400. BGSU was the MAC runner-up, trailing Central Michigan by just .100 in the final team standings. It was the first time the team had finished that high at the MAC Championship since 1987.
The 2016 season was a turning point for team success for Turner and the Falcons. Bowling Green qualified for the NCAA Regionals as a team for the first time since 1991 and they finished sixth of six teams (193.850) at the University of Alabama. The team earned three of the top ten scores in school history during the 2016 season, including a new school record of 196.500 on Senior Night against Northern Illinois. The team also set a new balance team record (49.250).
Two individual athletes, Lauren Feely (all-around) and Laura Mitchell (beam), won MAC championships in 2016. The pair join Alyssa Nocella and Jamilah Ali (2013) as the only instances of two individual MAC champions in one season for BGSU since 2001. The team led the MAC with seven weekly award winners and tied a program high with five Academic All-MAC selections. Nocella concluded her BGSU career with a Female Scholar Athlete of the Week award (Feb. 17), two Gymnast of the Week awards, the MAC Senior of the Year award, and first-team All-MAC status. She also became one of two athletes in Falcon gymnastics history to be named Academic All-MAC in three consecutive years.
In 2015, Turner coached the Falcons to their best season since 2002. BGSU opened the 2015 season with the program's first win over a Big Ten Conference opponent since 2004 and went on to defeat Michigan State again to secure two wins over the Big Ten across one season for the first time since 2002. The Falcons were ranked No. 14 in the country according to GymInfo, which is the second best in program history.
The Orange and Brown scored a season-best 195.700 to defeat Kent State for the first time in Bowling Green since 1999. Three team scores from the 2015 season (195.700 vs. Kent State, 195.500 vs. Ball State, 195.250 at MSU) rank inside of the top 10 in program history.
Individually, Alyssa Nocella was named First Team All-MAC for the second straight season, becoming the first Falcon to accomplish this feat since Marny Oestreng took home the honor across 1999-2001. She also became just the third BGSU gymnast across the last 15 years to qualify for three straight regionals. Lauren Feely became the third Falcon in as many years to win at least a share of the MAC Vault Championship, as she scored a career-best 9.900 on the event. Feely was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
In 2014, Turner guided BGSU to its best finish in 22 years. The Falcons went 4-2 in conference play during the regular season and placed third at the MAC Championships. Amanda Lievendag took home the vault title at the event, and three gymnasts (Megan Harrington, Alyssa Nocella and Gina Locigno) went on to qualify for regionals.
The Orange and Brown posted historic scores in 2014. The team’s vault score of 49.125 versus Central Michigan on Feb. 9 is the best in program history. At the same meet, BGSU totaled a score of 195.550, which ranks sixth in school history. The team’s total of 195.925, which was earned on March 6, is fourth best in the annals of Bowling Green gymnastics.
Individually, Nocella and Locigno registered scores in the all-around and balance beam that rank in the top-five in program history. Feely’s 9.900 in vault at the Chicago Style Invite places her tied for third in BGSU’s record books, while Lievendag totaled two scores that rank her in the top-five on uneven bars.
In 2013, Ali (vault) and Nocella (balance beam) took home MAC titles. Nocella then scored a 9.85 on floor at the NCAA regionals – the highest score from a Falcon at regionals since 1999. The Falcons finished 5-11 and 3-3 in the MAC.
Turner’s 2012 squad also placed fifth at the MAC Championships, but an era-high four Falcons qualified for regionals and Harrington was named to the Academic All-MAC team.
In 2011, the Orange and Brown started a rebuilding process. Nine of the 13 Falcons on the roster were underclassmen. The young team set a foundation for future success, as BGSU has increased its win total over each of the past three seasons since the 1-12 campaign in 2011.
In her third year as head coach in 2010, Turner led the team to a 4-2 record in the Mid-American Conference – the highest finish since 2002. The Falcons’ five-meet win streak after an 0-2 start was the program’s best stretch in over eight years. Dawn Christman, along with being an Academic All-MAC selection, won an outright MAC title (floor) for the first time since national champion Marny Oestreng won the all-around and vault in 2000. Turner also sent three Falcons to regionals that year – the most since 1982.
In 2009, Bowling Green finished fourth at the MAC Championships, which was the Orange and Brown’s highest finish since 2005. Turner also coached Breanne Guy to a tenth place finish in the all-around at the NCAA regionals.
Turner’s first season after being promoted to head coach saw the Falcons finish 9-12 (3-3 MAC). Jacquelyn Bernhardt was named MAC Specialist of the Year, and two gymnasts secured spots to compete at the NCAA regionals.
As an assistant from 2003-07, Turner was an integral part in coaching seven Falcons to top-10 performances in program history on the balance beam and floor.
Turner arrived to Bowling Green after serving as the head gymnastics coach at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for three seasons (2001-2003). She was named WIAC Coach of the Year in 2003 while also working as an admissions counselor for the university.
Prior to Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Turner was an assistant coach at her alma mater, Ursinus College, from Oct. 1999 through March 2000.
A native of Wilton, Conn., Turner was a gymnast for Ursinus from 1996-99 and was elected team captain during her junior and senior seasons. She earned a degree in exercise and sport science in May 1999.
Turner (Beach) is married to Dr. Adrian Turner, BGSU Associate Professor of Physical Education. The couple resides in Bowling Green with their daughter Mikayla.