Coach Spotlight: Catherria Turner relates to players

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Pacing the sideline in her high heels at the women’s basketball games is Catherria Turner, the new Dixie State University women’s basketball head coach, and she’s here to put DSU women’s basketball on the map.

In her first year at the helm, the basketball team is currently 7-9 overall. With only one returning player on the team, coach Turner is working through the tough times of a first-year coach with class.

“Your first year at a new school is always tough,” said Jon Judkins, head men’s basketball coach.  “She is way organized … and her team is improving as the year goes on.”

Turner’s impact on her new squad is not going unnoticed.

The lone returning player, Kaylah Miller, a junior communication major from San Diego, is thankful for what changes coach Turner has brought to the program.

“For me, everything has changed,” Miller said. “I finally have a coach that believes in me, and I love playing the game of basketball again. Overall, she has been a positive change for the Dixie State women’s basketball program.”

Even though it’s Turner’s first year at Dixie State, it’s hardly her first year on the court. Most recently, Turner has come to Dixie after being the head coach at conference foe Holy Names University. Turner has also obtained coaching positions at the University of Portland, University of Maine and Simpson College.

Turner played basketball at Division I schools Oregon and Oklahoma State.

As team captain for David Robertson at Amphitheater High in Tucson, Ariz., Turner averaged a triple-double her senior season, putting up 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 steals per game.

As a result of playing the game, Turner has had four knee surgeries and two torn ACL’s in her lifetime.

Miller said Turner’s playing experience has helped her connect with the players on the court.

“She asks a lot from all her players,” Miller said. “But it’s never too much. I have a great player-coach relationship with coach Turner, and I think that is because she understands what it’s like from our perspective.”

While Turner has her focus on basketball, she is also a mentor for her players.

“They say I’m in their business constantly because I don’t just care about what they do on the basketball court,” Turner said. “We monitor their classes; we have our own study hour just as a team every single day. I’m constantly on them, and they don’t always like it, but they know that it’s for the right reasons.”

As an overall philosophy, Turner stresses to her players to learn life skills through basketball.

Turner also loves to spend her free time watching movies.

“Anything with a happy ending; I hate horror movies,” said Turner.

She also admitted she is hooked on “Scandal,” her favorite TV series, and loves to have a bowl of dolce de leche, which is her favorite dessert.