Florida International hires Bucs' Ron Turner as head coach

  • Updated: Jan. 4, 2013 at 02:57 a.m.

MIAMI -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterbacks coach Ron Turner is going back to the college sideline.

Florida International hired Turner as its football coach Thursday night, signing him to a five-year deal with a base salary of $500,000 annually. FIU director of sports and entertainment Pete Garcia said he received a faxed copy of the signed contract and that Turner would be in Miami for an introductory news conference Friday afternoon.

Turner replaces Mario Cristobal, who was fired last month.

"This guy knows football," Garcia said. "He's the best quarterback coach in America, college or pro. So I'm very excited to get this guy. He's one of the best offensive minds in America. This guy's a total package. He can do it all."

It will be Turner's first trip back to the college game since he was fired by Illinois in 2004, three seasons after taking the Illini to what was their first Big Ten title in a decade.

Garcia pointed to Turner's role in working with elite NFL players like Peyton Manning (he was an offensive position coach with the Indianapolis Colts at the time) and Devin Hester (when Turner was the Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator).

Garcia said he consulted with current Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano, Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano and Bucs' special assistant Butch Davis before hiring Turner.

Turner is the brother of Norv Turner, who was fired as coach of the San Diego Chargers this week.

Former University of Miami, North Carolina and Cleveland Browns coach Butch Davis, now a special assistant with the Buccaneers, was close to taking the FIU job last month, according to FoxSports.com. That report said a dispute over money owed to Davis from his dismissal at North Carolina was holding up the deal.