Early in his coaching days, Turner worked as an assistant football and basketball coach at Kokomo, Indiana's Haworth High School from 1972–74.
He moved to the college ranks in 1975, working for the Indiana State University football program in various roles until 1982.
In 1983, he went to Fresno State University, where he was the team's running backs coach through 1988. One of the players he coached was future coach Kelly Skipper.
In his final collegiate coaching stop before moving to the NFL, Turner served as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Purdue University from 1991–94. While at Purdue, he would coach RB Mike Alstott.
Turner was the running backs coach at Ohio State University from 1989–90; in this period, the Buckeyes reached bowl games in both seasons and had the top rushing game in the Big Ten Conference in 1989. In 1990, he would coach running backs Robert Smith, Butler By'not'e, and Raymont Harris.
In 2010, he was hired to be the running backs coach by his former colleague, Mike Shanahan, after Mike was selected to be the new Head Coach of the Washington Redskins. Before this, he held the same position in Denver from 1995–2009; he also worked for 20 years as a college assistant and has over 40 combined years of coaching experience at the professional, collegiate and high school levels. On February 3, 2015, Dan Quinn announced that Turner would be his Running Backs coach.
In the 2016 season, Turner and the Falcons reached Super Bowl LI, where they faced the New England Patriots on February 5, 2017. In the Super Bowl, the Falcons fell in a 34–28 overtime defeat.
Turner grew up in East Chicago, Indiana and graduated from Indiana State University. He attended East Chicago Washington High, where he was a multi-sport athlete. He played basketball for the legendary Indiana High School coach, Johnnie Baratto.