Football coaching a family affair for Turman
Career record: 298-156-2
State playoff appearances: 24
State titles: 2 (C-1, 2002; C-1, ’03)
State runner-up: 5 (C-1, 1980; C-1, ’85; C-1, 2000; C-1, ’07; C-1, ’16)
Most football coaches measure their tenures in years.
Tim Turman does it by generations.
Turman coached both of his sons, Matt and Seth, at Bishop Neumann in the early and mid-1990s. Fast forward 20 years, and now the 69-year-old is guiding the Cavaliers to victories with grandsons manning the quarterback spots.
Two years ago Noah Vedral, now a quarterback at Nebraska after transferring from Central Florida, was a Super-Stater on Neumann’s Class C-1 state runner-up team in 2016. Now his younger brother Eli is a senior and entering his second season as the starting signal-caller.
“It’s been pretty special to coach my sons, and now my grandsons,” Turman said. “When Noah got into high school, I thought I’d coach him a year or two, and that turned into four. And now Eli’s almost done.”
A third grandson, Ezra Vedral, will be an eighth grader this year.
“This is probably my window to retire,” said Turman, who has six adult children and 15 grandchildren. “At some point, it will be time to pack up and follow the grandkids. It will either be soon or four or five years down the road. If it’s up to my wife (Dianne), it will be soon.”
Turman not only has had the satisfaction of coaching his sons, but also see them go into the coaching profession themselves. Matt is the head coach at Omaha Skutt where he’s led the SkyHawks to three Class B state championships and three runner-up finishes. Seth is an assistant coach at Millard West.
“It’s been nice,” Turman said.
This will be Turman’s 46th season as a head football coach. After he graduated from Chadron State in 1970, he spent one year teaching at a K-8 school on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Then he coached four years at Fairmont, went back to Chadron State to get his masters degree in the 1976-77 school year and was the David City coach for three years before taking the Neumann position in 1980.
One of the players he coached at Fairmont was Derrie Nelson, a Nebraska walk-on defensive end who became an All-American and played three years for the San Diego Chargers in the NFL.
“He was an incredible player,” Turman said of Nelson. “I was pretty young then and Derrie was kind of obstinate. We ended up in each other’s face a few times. He was a great kid, one of the toughest kids I’ve ever coached.
“Derrie always told me he couldn’t wait until I had kids, that he’d become a coach and run their butts off,” Turman added laughing. “He always thought we did a little too much running.”
Turman admits he didn’t think he’d still be coaching at Neumann in 2018 after taking the job 38 years earlier.
“I liked the school, I liked the people and the Catholic education was great for my kids,” said Turman, who retired from his industrial arts teaching position two years ago. “The years just started running together, then our kids got active and it was hard to move then. I just really liked the situation we had here.”