Warren Turner has had a long and distinguished career at Missouri Southen State University. He has been the head baseball coach at Missouri Southern State University for 29 years, taking over the reins in 1977 from Ed Wuch who left to pursue his doctorate at Arizona State University.
During that 29-year stint, Warren’s Lions have won over 800 games, making him one of the most successful baseball coaches in the country. Warren has received many personal accolades during his career at MSSU, including NAIA national Coach of the Year in 1978. He was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in January of 2005. He has received three conference Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1992; NAIA District 16 Coach of the Year in 1978, 1985, 1986, and 1987, and NAIA Area IV Coach of the Year in 1978, 1986, and 1987.
In addition to coaching the Lions, Warren is an instructor in kinesiology at Missouri Southern. He is a strong proponent of community service, involving himself and his players in such projects as Special Olympics, The Boys and Girls Club, Kiwanis, and the Ronald McDonald House.
Warren joined Missouri Southern in the fall of 1976 and served as an assistant coach in football through 1985. A Joplin native and a graduate of Joplin High Schol, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Pittsburgh State University in 1965 and a Master of Science degree in physical education from Pittsburgh State in 1970.
Warren and his wife, the former Gloria Pedersen, have two daughters, Tosha and Erin, and four grandchildren.
In addition to heading Missouri Southern’s baseball program, Turner has also served as business manager for USA National baseball teams.
Turner has had two teams finish second nationally. His 1978 squad swept through the winners’ bracket unscathed before losing twice to Emporia State 2-0 and 8-6 in the championship round of the double-elimination tournament.
Missouri Southern also finished second in the 1991 NCAA Division II World Series, losing to Jacksonville (Fla.) State in the title game. The team finished with an overall record of 48-13 with five of the losses coming against NCAA Division I opponents. The Lions reeled off 19 straight victories during the season.
Turner’s 1992 team finished 44-13, won the MIAA Tournament and the NCAA Division II Regional before finishing 1-2 in the national tournament. That team set an all-time single-game scoring record with a 32-5 victory over Missouri-St. Louis.