CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern Director of Athletics Jeff Barber announced today that Associate A.D. for Compliance/Senior Women's Administrator Ashton Turner is excited to pursue an opportunity outside of Athletics beginning June 1.
Turner will be joining the staff at Vision Sports International based in Spartanburg, S.C. as the Mobilization Director to help work with the non-profit's programs and travel.
"Sometimes you just can't ignore the door that God opens," Turner said. "This is something I feel like God was putting front of me. Every question or concern I had was either strongly answered or I was given peace about my decision."
Barber had the following to say about Turner's time at CSU in leading the Buccaneers through an NCAA Investigation, as well as enhancing both the compliance department and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
"With great appreciation for the job she has done here at CSU over the past four years, I want to wish Ashton the very best in her new venture," Barber said. "She has certainly left our Athletic Department and Compliance Office in a much better place than where it was when she arrived. I greatly appreciate the time, effort, and passion she has given the Buccaneers."
Among her new responsibilities at Vision Sports International include helping members and volunteers who are involved in sports camps, exhibition teams, and international projects with planning and training.
Turner will be joining several familiar faces as she reconnects with Scott and Wendy Duke, the founders of Vision Sports and a couple from the same home church as Turner.
"I grew up in the same church as Scott and Wendy when I was younger," Turner said. "Wendy was my volleyball coach in high school and they were both serving in the college ministry when I was in college. I've been on the sidelines with their program for a while, and though I've never been on a project with them, I've always somehow been involved with them."
Turner's ability to multi-task and attention to detail has been key to the CSU athletic department over the last few years and she looks forward to implementing those skills in her new endeavor.
"From the compliance side of things, I deal primarily with the NCAA Bylaws 10, 11, 12, 16, 19, and 20," Turner said. "It's been working with our staffs to ensure we are reporting appropriately and that our people are doing what they say they are doing – guiding and educating our administration, coaches, and student-athletes to make sure we are in alignment with NCAA rules."
Her work with SAAC has also been evident as the organization has grown and thrived under her leadership.
"I'm so proud of our SAAC student-athletes," Turner commented. "We've packed over 100 boxes in each of the last two years for Operation Christmas Child, we were among the top in the Big South for Project for Life, and we've sent a number of student-athletes to the Big South Leadership Conference where they have learned how to represent us and the Big South well."
This work with SAAC has played a huge role for both CSU and the NCAA as the emphasis has shifted to focus more on the student-athlete voice.
"One of my biggest focuses has been working with our student-athletes and the Big South to ensure that our athletes know what is going on," Turner said. "The NCAA has taken such an interest and put more focus on the student-athlete voice over the last five or so years. It's evident in the legislation that the NCAA is listening and are aware and our student-athletes can be a part of that voice."
One of the major roles Turner had during her time at Charleston Southern was helping both CSU and the Athletic Department navigate their way through the NCAA Investigation that culminated with sanctions handed down back in October 2018.
"There were a lot of late nights as we worked on getting through the process," Turner admitted. "Our coaches and athletes did the best they could to help and it was not easy. However, I was not alone in the process. There was a lot of help from both staff and students, and we had a lot of people come at the right times to help meet the little needs so the big needs were able to be taken care of."
As Turner wraps up her time with the Buccaneers over the next few weeks, she reflected back on her experience at CSU.
"Working in athletics is high-paced and high-energy," Turner said. "I love working with these students, as well as our administrators. I'm hoping as I leave CSU that we are both in better shape than when I started. That was something instilled in me a long time ago."
Although she is heading out, Turner plans to keep tabs on the continued growth of the University, the Athletic Department and SAAC.
"The annual SAAC spring fundraiser over the last few years has been a dodgeball tournament," Turner laughed. "Our group has already started mapping out ways to make it bigger and better next year, and I might need to come back down and make an appearance and maybe even play!"
A nationwide search for a new Associate A.D. for Compliance/SWA will begin immediately. Director of Compliance Richard Ryan will serve as interim while the search is conducted.