Turner West made his NFL coaching debut in 2014 as a defensive assistant with the Dallas Cowboys. In his role, West has worked with Passing Game Coordinator/Linebackers Coach Matt Eberflus, assisting with the continued development of a young core at the linebacker position.
The linebacker unit saw a resurgence from Sean Lee in 2015 in his return from a knee injury that cost him the entire 2014 season. Moving positions from the middle over to the weakside to further utilize his speed and play making ability, Lee played in 14 games and led the defense with a career-best 156 tackles and 11 tackles for loss to go along with his first career sacks, tallying 2.5 quarterback take downs. His breakout year led to his first Pro Bowl nomination, the only Cowboys defender to earn the honor. Rolando McClain returned for his second season with Dallas, appearing in 11 games and racking up 97 tackles, third on the team, with nine tackles for loss and an interception he returned for a touchdown. Another big contributor was second-year defender Anthony Hitchens, who tallied 85 tackles and two sacks as mainly a base defensive player, leaving the field in most nickel defensive formations. Veterans Kyle Wilber and Andrew Gachkar continued to be solid contributors on special teams and valuable reserve defenders, recording 40 tackles between them. Rookie fourth round draft pick Damien Wilson tied for the team lead in special teams tackles with Wilber and safety Jeff Heath in a solid first season.
The 2014 season saw a group in flux emerge with several key contributors for a vastly improved defense. Newly acquired Rolando McClain realized a resurgence under the Dallas coaching staff, finishing second on the team with a career-high 108 tackles to go along with nine tackles for loss and adding a physical presence to the Dallas defense. Rookie fourth round draft pick Anthony Hitchens was huge for the unit as well, learning to play all three linebacker positions on the fly and making significant contributions at all three, totaling 100 tackles and solidifying the group.
West spent two years (2012-13) as a graduate assistant, working with quarterbacks and wide receivers, at Middle Tennessee State. Before working at MTSU, West spent the spring of 2012 with Samford University as a volunteer coach, helping with quarterbacks. In 2011 West served as an intern at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, working with the school’s wide receivers. West played wide receiver at Memphis from 2006-10, where he played for his father, Tommy, who was the school’s head coach.
West earned his degree in interdisciplinary studies from Memphis. He started at cornerback and wide receiver as a senior at Briarcrest Christian High School in Germantown, Tenn., where he also lettered all four years.