For Travis Turner, he is doing all he can to uphold the winning tradition for men’s volleyball here at Orange Coast College.
Following a stellar career as a player, the OCC head coach returns to the bench for this 10th season as Pirates’ head coach.
Through his first nine years, Turner has led the Pirates to the State Final Four in eight of those seasons and has reached the state finals in four of those seasons.
Another year, another successful season for Turner and his Pirates as they finished 2015 with a 16-6 overall record and a 12-2 mark in the Pacific Coast Conference. After topping Long Beach City College in the state quarterfinals in four sets, the Pirates ran up against a buzz saw as the eventual state-champion Santa Monica City College Corsairs swept past Coast in the state semifinals.
In 2014, Turner and the Pirates finally reached the top of the mountain, claiming the school's sixth state championship and first title since 1994. It wasn't easy as the Pirates faced Santa Monica City College and after winning the first two sets, Coast dropped the next two sets, forcing a winner-take-all fifth set. There, Coast prevailed, 15-10, giving Turner his first state title as the Pirates' head coach.
One of those finals seasons came in 2012, when the Pirates wrapped up the regular season at 15-5 and advanced to the title match, only to fall to Long Beach City in a four-set thriller.
In 2011, the Pirates captured the Pacific Coast Conference title, earning Turner PCC Coach of the Year honors. The joy was short-lived, however, as the Pirates lost to eventual state-champion Irvine Valley College in four games at the State Semifinals.
In 2010, Turner helped lead the Pirates (18-3) to their fourth consecutive trip to the California State Final Four and second trip to the state title match in the past three seasons. Coast finished second in the always-tough Pacific Coast Conference and earned a trip to the state title match with a four-game win over Long Beach City.
In 2010, the Pirates (15-7) reached the postseason after a grueling Pacific Coast Conference schedule and advanced all the way to the 2008 State Volleyball Championship match, only to fall to defending state champion Irvine Valley.
In 2007, Turner helped guide the Pirates to a 17-4 overall record, a share of the Pacific Coast Conference title and a trip to the State Championship semifinals -- not too shabby for a rookie skipper.
As a player, he helped the Pirates claim back-to-back state volleyball titles in 1989 and 1990 under the guidance of Bob Wetzel.
"I'm excited to be here and I'm really looking forward to hopefully keeping the winning tradition of men's volleyball going here at Coast," Turner said.
Winning has been commonplace for both Turner and the OCC men's volleyball program.
After his championship run at Coast, Turner transferred to the University of California, where he led Berkeley to two NCAA volleyball titles.
Following his playing career, Turner had guided several teams to various titles. He coached the Balboa Bay Volleyball Club to seven junior national championships, including 18 & Under national titles in 1998 and 2000.
Turner helped guide Tustin High to a 1995 CIF title and was a quarterfinalist in 1996.
At the collegiate level, Turner was an assistant coach at UC Irvine from 1996-2000 and head coach at Cal from 2001-2002.
"I consider myself a tough coach -- someone who demands a lot,” Turner said. “But I also feel like I have a good relationship with the athletes. I think it's important for my players to work hard, but also have fun at the same time.
"I'm following in the footsteps of some great coaches here with Chuck Cutenese and Bob Wetzel. Winning is expected here and it's expected with me."
The history of OCC men's volleyball is rich with tradition. The Pirates have garnered 13 conference titles and five state championships since 1978.
Wetzel posted a 185-61 record from 1978-92, while Cutenese racked up a 233-70 record from 1993-2006.