By Joseph Beyda
A Scout.com report on Sunday claimed that Director of Football Sports Performance Shannon Turley would rejoin former Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, potentially signaling a huge blow for a Stanford program that failed to win 10 games for the first time since 2009 this season.
However, reports by ESPN and others later Sunday night asserted that Turley would return to the Farm. No official statement has been made by Turley or Stanford Athletics.
Since coming to the Farm with Harbaugh in 2007, Turley has been credited by players and coaches alike as one of the most instrumental figures in the team’s resurgence. His innovative training program, which emphasized “functional movement” over pure strength, drastically cut down the injuries that plagued Stanford football in the years before his arrival. According to statistics he kept, Stanford suffered 26 injuries in 2006 that required season-ending or postseason surgery, but just 24 such injuries from 2008-12.
“It wasn’t all just about heavy weights, getting bigger, getting swole,” former Cardinal running back Anthony Kimble ‘08 told The Daily for “Rags to Roses: The Rise of Stanford Football.” “He really talked about wear on your body, flexibility, making your body more dynamic.”
After the initial reports that Turley would head to Ann Arbor, several current and recent Stanford players took to Twitter to reiterate Turley’s importance to the program.
Can’t believe what I am hearing about coach turley. That man built the Stanford program and is the most important person within.
— Lee Ward (@LeeWard36) January 4, 2015
Junior safety Zach Hoffpauir tweeted “#MoneyTalks,” likely in regards to the belief that Michigan offered Turley a higher salary than Stanford was willing to match.
— Zach Hoffpauir (@Zachhoff10) January 4, 2015
The initial Scout.com report cited a Michigan recruit who claimed that Turley would be joining Harbaugh’s new staff.
Fox’s Bruce Feldman also reported on Sunday that Harbaugh is trying to bring Stanford defensive coordinator Lance Anderson to Ann Arbor.
Besides his role at the helm of one of the nation’s top defenses in 2014, Anderson served as the Cardinal’s recruiting coordinator from 2007-13. Like Turley, he first came to Stanford with Harbaugh, and like Turley, he is considered a cornerstone of the Cardinal program; in an interview for “Rags to Roses,” Harbaugh told The Daily that Anderson was perhaps the most important member of his staff at Stanford because of his role in the recruiting process.
“Really, the key guy is Lance Anderson in all of this,” Harbaugh said. “Above everybody in my opinion.”
However, FootballScoop claimed on Twitter that Stanford head coach David Shaw is feeling good about his chances to retain Anderson.
I know David Shaw would very much like to retain Anderson. As of yesterday felt good chance, per source. Will discuss at 6pm @1045espn
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) January 4, 2015
Contact Joseph Beyda at jbeyda ‘at’ stanford.edu.