Liberty head coach Turner Gill has announced his retirement, effective immediately.
The 56-year-old had been Liberty’s head coach since 2012, bringing the Flames from membership in the FCS Big South Conference to becoming an FBS Independent, beginning with this season. Liberty went 6-6 this season, concluding its inaugural FBS campaign with a 52-17 win over Norfolk State, leveling the Flames at 6-6 on the season.
Overall, Gill went 47-35 in seven seasons at Liberty, leading the club to the second round of the FCS playoffs in 2014.
To be clear: this was not a “leave before we make you leave” retirement.
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said in a phone interview the university was set to offer football coach Turner Gill a multi-year contract extension prior to his retirement.
— Damien Sordelett (@DamienSordelett) December 3, 2018
“It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my retirement from coaching,” Gill said in a statement. “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. 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!”
Prior to Liberty, Gill spent two seasons as the head coach at Kansas and four at Buffalo. He led the Bulls to a MAC championship in 2008.
With Gill out, Ian McCaw will make his first hire as Liberty’s athletics director. His last football hire came in 2007, pulling Art Briles from Houston to Baylor.
It’s also worth noting that Hugh Freeze picked Liberty as the spot of his first public appearance since resigning from Ole Miss in the summer of 2017. Freeze and his wife Jill spoke in an engagement opened by Liberty president Jerry Falwell, Jr. in January of this year.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.