FDLTCC names new athletic director, coachesKeith Turner will fill a newly created position of athletic director/head football coach/director of student preparedness at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, and Laura Sylvester has been named the head coach of the Thunder volleyball program.
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College announced this week the hiring of two new members of the Thunder Athletics Department.
Keith Turner will fill a newly created position of athletic director/head football coach/director of student preparedness, and Laura Sylvester has been named the head coach of the Thunder volleyball program. Both staff members will lead their respective programs into the 2010 fall sports seasons.
Prior to coming to the Thunder, Turner had been offensive coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a member of the Pointer coaching staff for the past four seasons. While working at UW-Stevens Point, Turner helped the Pointers' offense grow into one of the most prolific in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In 2008, the Pointers led the league in passing offense and consistently have been among the league leaders in total offense.
“The decision to accept the new position boiled down to having an opportunity to advance my career,” said Turner. “The college has established a great foundation for Thunder Athletics and I’m excited about the opportunity to continue to grow the football program and Thunder Athletics overall. It's a bit of a homecoming for me, as I have family in the area and I am very familiar with the conference schools and northeastern Minnesota.”
Turner spent 16 seasons at Vermillion Community College, a member of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference of which Fond du Lac is also a member. He was head coach during his final nine seasons at Vermilion and led his teams to 12 conference championships and four state titles.
Turner also played two seasons at Vermillion, earning All-American status, and eventually was inducted into the Minnesota Junior College Hall of Fame. Turner first came to Minnesota as an all-state prep player, a running back and noseguard, from Central Catholic High School in Cleveland, Ohio. Turner finished his playing career at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health. He completed his master’s degree in education at Southwest Minnesota State in 2006.
Turner and his wife, Genie, have three children, a daughter Claudia, a son, Jaxon and a daughter, Eve.
Laura Sylvester takes over as head coach of the Thunder volleyball program as the team enters its second season of intercollegiate play. Sylvester was a four-sport athlete at AlBrook High School and played collegiate basketball under long-time coach Karen Stromme at the University of Minnesota-Duluth from 2001 to 2006. Sylvester earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications along with coaching and psychology minors from UMD.
Sylvester grew up in Alborn and served two seasons as assistant volleyball coach at AlBrook High School and has many years of experience as a volunteer coach at AlBrook in volleyball, softball, basketball and track. She has also coached AAU summer basketball for several years.
“Coaching is my passion, so I am thrilled to bring my energy and positive attitude to this team,” said Sylvester. “Also, to be able to make a difference right here in my own community is really special. I think it is very important to give back to the community and programs that helped you along the way, so I try to get involved helping young people whenever I can.”
The first-year head coach has already been working to get the 2010 season off to a good start. Sylvester is enthusiastic about her new opportunity.
“I am very honored to have the opportunity to work with a great group of student-athletes at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College,” said Sylvester. “I enjoy working with student-athletes who have the fire inside of them, and who are truly passionate about their sport. I am very excited to work with the players and start putting together a winning team. I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for volleyball in the communities our college serves.”
The Thunder football team opens practice in early August and plays their season opener on Saturday, Aug. 28, against Central Lakes College in the Kick-off Classic in St. Cloud. The Thunder volleyball also starts practice in early August and will open the season on the road against Hibbing Community College on Friday, Sept. 3.
For more information about the Thunder football program or to contact Head Coach Turner, call 218-879-0792. For more information about the Thunder volleyball program or to contact Head Coach Sylvester, call 218-879-0898.