INDIANAPOLIS — It wasn't a surprise to his team, which had been informed before postseason play even began, and Terre Haute North High School baseball coach Shawn Turner confirmed Friday night that the Class 4A state championship game was his last with the Patriots.
"This will be a good [game] to go out on," said Turner, whose team lost 2-1 to Noblesville. "I couldn't ask for a better stage."
Turner, whose resignation as a math teacher at North has already been announced, will be moving to McCutcheon, where he'll teach math and be an assistant baseball coach to Jake Burton, a longtime mentor of his.
McCutcheon is where he had his first teaching job, Turner noted, and he served as assistant under Burton - who just completed his 36th season with the Mustangs - for two years, was North's junior varsity coach for two years and became head coach of the Patriots for the 1998 season.
His 17 years makes Turner the longest-tenured coach the Patriots have ever had, and he leaves with a won-lost record of 312-194 that includes three sectional titles, two regional championships and the semistate championship won by the Patriots just a week ago. North was a final four team in 2006, losing in a one-game semistate.
"[Former North football coach] Wayne Stahley told me once that a coach shouldn't stay anywhere more than six or eight years," said Turner, who was also a football assistant under Stahley, "and it was probably time for North and for me to have a change. I was thinking about going somewhere [else] since the beginning of the 2012-13 school year."
With Burton being the veteran that he is, the natural question was whether a plan of succession was in place. Turner said there is not.