When one talks about the tradition of the Lehigh wrestling program, one of the first names that should come to mind is former wrestler and head coach Thad Turner.
Turner was Lehigh's fourth wrestling coach. He led Lehigh to a 171-104-5 record from 1970-88, a span of 18 seasons. He was selected National Coach of the Year in 1979, when Lehigh finished third at the NCAA Championships. He was also selected Eastern Coach of the Year in 1975.
Turner coached 14 top-10 finishes in NCAA team scoring, including four fifth-place finishes and the aforementioned third place in 1979.
His teams never finished below third in the EIWA while capturing eight titles and finishing runner-up three more times. He coached six wrestlers to nine NCAA Championships, 38 wrestlers to 62 EIWA titles, 22 to 43 All-American honors, and one Most Outstanding Wrestler in the NCAA Tournament. The 1975 team captured seven of the 10 individual EIWA championships.
Turner's wrestling career was just as sterling. He finished with a 49-6-2 overall record and his 31-1-2 dual meet record is still the ninth best winning percentage in school history. He finished second in the nation at 157 pounds in 1960. He also won the EIWA championship that year and added another title in 1961, when he was voted the tournament's most outstanding wrestler.
Turner completed his career serving 14 years as associate director of the Lehigh University Alumni Association. He and his wife Janet have three children, Jeff, Lisa and Keith, and reside in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.
B.S. Accounting, Lehigh University, 1961