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Turner named Wildcats’ new head football coach

Oak Harbor High School Athletic Director Nicki Luper announced math teacher Jay Turner has been hired as the Wildcats’ new head football coach.

Turner has been an assistant coach on the staff for 12 years and spent the last eight years as defensive coordinator.

“Turner was clearly the best guy for the job,” Luper said in a press release. “He has the most experience and he knows the kids.”

Turner takes over from coach Dave Ward who retired this season after 17 years with the Wildcats.

During Ward’s tenure, Oak Harbor won the 2006 Class 4A state championship and won at least a share of five division titles and qualified for the state playoffs for the past six seasons.

In 2007, the Wildcats went undefeated in the WesCo North for the first time since 1966, and sported an 11-0 record before losing to Bothell in the state quarterfinal game.

Turner is a 1990 graduate of Marysville-Pilchuck High School and played college football for the University of Montana in Missoula.

The new head coach will have a task ahead of him in his first season at the helm as the Wildcats graduated a number of key players including first-team all-league selections Johnny Encinas, Rodrick Rumble, Jake Rouser, Tyler Elliot, Jordan Young and Joe Raymond.

Turner said despite losing a number of key senior players, the Wildcats will have a lot of talent returning next season and all they need is a little experience.

Turner also said he doesn’t plan on changing too many things in the way the Wildcats operate on the field.

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