B.THAYER TURNER, Lehigh ’61- Thad Turner was one of three two-time Lehigh team captains through 1975 and was EIWA Outstanding Wrestler after his second league title. His 31-1-2 dual mark is one of Lehigh’s best-ever, achieved as one of five to compete at five weights (157-Hwt). In 1959 he tied NCAA champion, Tom Albert, to help upset 3rd-ranked Pitt; in 1960, he whipped NCAA 3rd at 177, Al Rushatz, 6-1, as Lehigh nipped Army. Turner was NCAA runner-up in 1960 at 157 as the number two seed, then seeded first in ’61.
One of NJ’s best-ever HS coaches, Thad had eight individual state titlists at Phillipsburg from 1962-70; his teams won 58 straight duals. He created the Lehigh Valley’s first midget programs. He earned NWCA National Coach of the Year Award in 1979, with three finalists and two champions, each mark tied for the Lehigh record with Hall of Fame Coach Gerry Leeman. Like Leeman, Turner coached six men to nine NCAA titles, but only Turner coached 43 medalists, ten straight Top 10 teams and had six All-Americans in one Nationals. His 1979 3rd-place team points were an LU record until 2004.
Upon coaching retirement, Turner worked 13 more years as Associate Alumni Director for Lehigh’s Alumni Association.