From 23 consecutive years, the Cincinnati Bengals had the same offensive line coach. Paul Alexander was a staple for the organization, primarily under Marvin Lewis, but the end of his extensive tenure signaled a time for change. Continued change soon followed though — in the 13 months since the Bengals fired Alexander, they’ve hired two different offensive line coaches.
Last year it was Frank Pollack. This year, it was Jim Turner.
Once it was known that Zac Taylor would take over as head coach, news of Pollack’s departure soon followed. As it turns out, it was Taylor’s call to oust Pollack, and the path for Taylor to hire Turner became clear.
Most of the coaches Taylor has hired are connected to him, and Turner is the prime example. He’s worked with Taylor on two different teams and nearly a third. His résumé extends much further than that.
- 1988: Braintree (Mass.) HS (Offense)
- 1989: Kent (London) Rams (Offensive Coordinator/Player-Coach)
- 1994-1995: Northeastern (OL/TE Coach)
- 1996: Northeastern (RB Coach)
- 1997-1998: Northeastern (DL Coach)
- 1999: Louisiana Tech (OL Coach)
- 2000-2002: Harvard (OL Coach/Run Game Coordinator)
- 2003-2004: Temple (OL Coach)
- 2005-2006: Delaware (OL Coach)
- 2006: Delaware (Assistant Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator)
- 2007: Boston College (OL Coach)
- 2008-2011: Texas A&M (OL Coach)
- 2012-2013: Miami Dolphins (OL Coach)
- 2016-2018: Texas A&M (OL Coach)
After graduating from Boston College in 1988, Turner spent a year coaching in London before joining the U.S. Marine Corps. After tours in Europe, the Middle East and Japan, Turner returned to coaching. It took him 13 years and eight different jobs before he ended up back at his alma mater Boston College, and became an established offensive line coach by then.
He leaped from Boston College to Texas A&M when Mike Sherman took over as head coach and Taylor was brought on as a graduate assistant. The trio then left together in 2012 for Miami and the NFL, though Sherman and Turner only lasted two years with the Dolphins while Taylor stayed through 2015.
Turner was let go because of the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal that NFL investigator Ted Wells found Turner not only allowed, but took part in.
Turner had trouble finding work in the aftermath of the scandal, but Taylor attempted to hire him as the running backs coach at the University of Cincinnati in 2016. Turner accepted the position, but chose to go back to Texas A&M instead to become an offensive line coach again.
Before his second stint began there, he was involved in another scandal where he inputted inappropriate jokes in a football clinic for women. The incident resulted in a suspension for Turner, but he remained with the school through the 2018 season.
Experience coaching with Taylor and baggage is what Turner brings to Cincinnati, now it’s up to him to coach up an offensive line that’s still finding itself.