Liberty head football coach Turner Gill announces retirement

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) -- Effective immediately, Liberty University Head Football Coach Turner Gill announced that he is retiring from coaching football.

Liberty says a national search for a new head coach will begin immediately. Gill's successor will be the ninth head coach in the school's history.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my retirement from coaching. In the summer of 2016, my wife Gayle was diagnosed with a heart condition. Both Gayle and I wanted to be here to help Liberty through their transition and we are so glad to have done so," Gill said. "We have come to the realization that it is now time for me to step away. I can’t put into words how much this coaching staff, support staff and the players mean to us. We are so thankful for President Falwell, Becki Falwell and Ian McCaw and their support during our time here. They, as well as all of those mentioned, have been and will continue to be blessings in our lives. To God be the glory!”

Gill recently completed his seventh season as Liberty's head coach, and will end his tenure at the school with a 47-35 record and a career 72-84 record.

“We are grateful and deeply indebted to Turner for successfully leading Liberty football from the FCS to FBS. He’s had a transformational impact on the football program and our student-athletes over the past 7 years. We wish him and his family the very best as the Lord leads them into the next stage of their life," said Ian McCaw, Athletic Director.

Liberty posted a winning record in each of Gill's seven seasons at the helm of the program, extending the Flames' streak to 13 seasons in a row with a winning mark. Gill also guided the Flames to four Big South titles during his first six seasons.

Gill's tenure afforded him to see Liberty transition from an FCS football program to the FBS level. That move was jumpstarted with a 48-45 win over Baylor on Sept. 2, 2017. That win was the program's first win over a 'Power 5' opponent.

During Liberty's inaugural campaign at the FBS level, Gill lead the Flames to a 6-6 record, becoming the ninth program in NCAA history to win six or more games during their first season at the FBS level.

A 2014 winner of the Bobby Ross Coach of the Year Award, given to the top Division I coach in the Commonwealth of Virginia (both FCS and FBS coaches), Gill also lead the program to its first-ever trip to the NCAA FCS Playoffs.

He was also selected the top Division I coach in Virginia by the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID), the second for any head football coach in program history.

During his final 12 seasons as head coach at three different programs, Gill led his teams to first-place conference finishes six times (2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016).