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Coaches And Staff

Robert Turner Jr.
Running Backs

BIOGRAPHY

Robert Turner Jr. enters his first season as the 49ers running backs coach after spending the previous two seasons in the same capacity with the Atlanta Falcons. A veteran of 21 NFL seasons, Turner is responsible for overseeing three of the top nine rookie rushing seasons in NFL history [Alfred Morris – 1,613 rushing yards in 2012 (3rd); Clinton Portis – 1,508 rushing yards in 2002 (7th); Mike Anderson – 1,487 rushing yards in 2000 (t-8th)].

In 2016, the Falcons ranked fifth in the league in rushing yards per game (120.5) and tied for third in the NFL with 20 rushing touchdowns. RB Devonta Freeman registered 1,079 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns, the fifth most among running backs, to earn his second consecutive Pro Bowl selection. Freeman also ranked fifth among running backs with 54 receptions for 462 yards. Part of a two-pronged attack, RB Tevin Coleman registered 520 rushing yards, 421 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns on the year.

In 2015, Freeman earned his first All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections...

Robert Turner Jr. enters his first season as the 49ers running backs coach after spending the previous two seasons in the same capacity with the Atlanta Falcons. A veteran of 21 NFL seasons, Turner is responsible for overseeing three of the top nine rookie rushing seasons in NFL history [Alfred Morris – 1,613 rushing yards in 2012 (3rd); Clinton Portis – 1,508 rushing yards in 2002 (7th); Mike Anderson – 1,487 rushing yards in 2000 (t-8th)].

In 2016, the Falcons ranked fifth in the league in rushing yards per game (120.5) and tied for third in the NFL with 20 rushing touchdowns. RB Devonta Freeman registered 1,079 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns, the fifth most among running backs, to earn his second consecutive Pro Bowl selection. Freeman also ranked fifth among running backs with 54 receptions for 462 yards. Part of a two-pronged attack, RB Tevin Coleman registered 520 rushing yards, 421 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns on the year.

In 2015, Freeman earned his first All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections as he was one of seven players to eclipse the 1,000 rushing yard mark (1,056) and tied for the NFL lead with 11 rushing touchdowns. Freeman’s 1,634 total yards from scrimmage ranked fifth among all players during the 2015 season.

Prior to Atlanta, Turner spent four seasons (2010-13) as assistant head coach and running backs coach for the Washington Redskins.

In 2013, Washington ranked fifth in the NFL with 135.3 rushing yards per game and finished with 61 rushes of 10-or-more yards, the fourth most in the league. Morris finished the year ranked fourth in the NFL with 1,275 rushing yards to earn his first career Pro Bowl berth.

In 2012, the Redskins set a franchise record with 2,709 rushing yards, led the NFL 169.3 rushing yards per game, and ranked second in yards per carry (5.22) and rushing touchdowns (22). Turner helped Morris set a franchise record with 1,613 rushing yards, as a rookie. Morris’ 1,613 rushing yards were the fourth most by rookie in NFL history (Eric Dickerson – 1,808 yards in 1983; George Roberts – 1,674 yards in 1981; Ezekiel Elliot – 1,631 yards in 2016).

In 2011, Turner oversaw the development of rookie RBs Roy Helu and Evan Royster. Helu finished the year as the team’s leading rusher with 640 yards, the second-highest yardage total among rookies that season. In Weeks 12-14, Helu became the first rookie running back in Washington history to post three consecutive 100-yard games. In Weeks 16 and 17, Royster rushed for more than 100 yards in each game, making Helu and Royster the first rookie running back tandem in NFL history to each post consecutive 100-yard rushing games in a season.

During his first season in Washington, Turner helped develop RB Ryan Torain into a feature back as he posted career highs in attempts (164), rushing yards (742) and touchdowns (four). Under Turner, Torain ran for 172 yards against Tampa Bay in Week 14, the 10th-highest total in Redskins history.

Turner went to Washington after spending the previous 15 seasons (1995-2009) as the running backs coach of the Denver Broncos, where he was part of teams that earned two Super Bowl championships (Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII), three AFC West titles (1996, 1998, 2005) and seven playoff berths (1996-98, 2000, 2003-05).

Turner worked with 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee RB Terrell Davis, who was named AP Most Valuable Player (1998) and AP Offensive Player of the Year (1996, 1998) while helping lead the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl titles. During his seven-year (1995-2001) NFL career, all under Turner’s tutelage, Davis rushed for 7,607 yards and 60 touchdowns, while delivering 1,140 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in eight playoff games.

Davis’ 97.5 rushing yards per game in the regular season is the third-highest total in league history among running backs who recorded rushing attempts in at least 75 games, while his 142.5 rushing yards per game in the postseason is the highest average in league history for running backs who had registered rushing attempts in at least five playoff games.During his 15 seasons in Denver, the Broncos produced the most rushing yards (32,829) and the most total yards (86,523) in the NFL. Over that span, six different running backs rushed for 1,000-or-more yards in a single season, including Davis (four times), Clinton Portis and Mike Anderson (twice), and Tatum Bell, Reuben Droughns and Olandis Gary (once).

Turner helped the Broncos record 11 individual 1,000-yard rushing seasons during his tenure, a total that includes a four-year streak of having a different 1,000-yard rusher each season (2003-06). Under Turner, the Broncos ranked among the NFL’s top five in rushing during 10 of his 15 seasons, with 16 different running backs posting at least one 100-yard rushing game in the regular season or playoffs.Before his arrival in Denver, Turner was assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and running backs coach for four seasons (1991-94) at Purdue.

During his tenure, the Boilermakers running game and entire offense improved each season, going from 106th in the nation in 1990 to 12th in 1994, a season in which the team rushed for a school record 36 rushing touchdowns. That year, Turner guided All-Big Ten second-team selection Mike Alstott (1,188 yards and 14 TDs), the school’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 1976. In 1991, Turner coached the Big Ten Freshman of the Year RB Corey Rogers.

Prior to Purdue, Turner served as the running backs coach for two seasons (1989-90) at Ohio State University, during which time the Buckeyes went to two bowl games and had one of the most prolific running games in the Big Ten.

Turner’s 1990 backfield was highlighted by Big Ten and National Freshman of the Year Robert Smith, who finished the season with 1,126 yards and eight touchdowns. In 1989, the Buckeyes led the Big Ten in rushing yards per game (241.0), total offense (418.1 yards per game) and scoring (29.5).

Before his stint at Ohio State, Turner coached the running backs at Fresno State (1983-88) and at his alma mater, Indiana State (1975-82). At Fresno State, he coached future pros RB Lavale Thomas (Packers), RB Anthony Mosley (Bears) and RB Aaron Craver (Dolphins, Broncos, Chargers, Saints).

Turner began his collegiate coaching career at Indiana State, where he spent eight years (1975-82) on staff. He began as running backs and quarterbacks coach while also working as the team’s strength and conditioning coordinator in 1975. In 1976, Turner became defensive backs coach in addition to strength and conditioning coordinator for two seasons before working as the team’s running backs coach and special teams coordinator for four years (1978-81). During his final year at Indiana State in 1982, he coached defensive backs and served as special teams coordinator.

During his tenure on Indiana State’s coaching staff, Turner recruited and coached two All-American defensive backs in Wayne Davis (1984) and Vencie Glenn (1985), both of whom went on to be second round draft picks. He also helped ISU running back Vincent Allen post a 1,000-yard rushing season (1,022) in 1975.

Turner began his coaching career at Haworth (Kokomo, IN) High School as an assistant with the football and basketball teams from 1972-74.A native of East Chicago, IN, Turner was an all-conference defensive back at Indiana State, where he played both football and basketball.

Turner ranks tied for second in school history with 16 career interceptions, a total which includes nine in 1969, which is tied for second most in a single season in team history. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana State in health and physical education in 1972 before receiving his master’s degree from the school in education/administration in 1976.

Turner attended East Chicago Washington High School, where he played four sports (football, basketball, baseball and track). In 1993 he was inducted into the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team and was selected to the East Chicago Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

Turner and his wife, Kimberly, have three daughters: Nacole, Krishana and Kiaana.

 

Coaching Staff