(Editor’s note: Carroll College Athletics release)
HELENA — After spending the past eight seasons as the Carroll College Fighting Saints women’s basketball assistant coach, Gary Turcott is retiring.
The Carroll College Hall of Famer announced his decision on the Jason Walker Show on Thursday.
“Coach T” is the winningest coach in Carroll College men’s basketball history. Turcott, after 19 years at the helm, built the Saints into a consistent Top 25 talent, developed players and built teams that still hold school records and also heightened the profile of not only Carroll College but the Frontier Conference as a whole.
From 1990-2009, Turcott compiled a 376-223 records while at Carroll, winning 20 or more games in 10 seasons. He coached the program’s first ever first team All-American selection, one of five total to either be first or second team All-Americans. He coached a NAIA all-tournament choice, 32 All-Frontier selections and four Frontier Conference MVPs.
His teams won seven Frontier Conference championships, finishing runner-up four times, and qualified for seven national tournaments, finishing third in 2004. His national tournament teams advanced to the Round of 16 twice, Quarterfinals twice and Semifinals once.
His 2004 team had the first major breakthrough for the Frontier Conference. That collection of talent became the first Frontier team to advance beyond the quarterfinals into the NAIA’s Fab Four. Another of his talented teams, the 2005-06 team, still holds the school record for most wins with a 30-4 record.
He was named the Frontier Conference Coach of the Year five times. He was inducted into the Carroll College Hall of Fame in 2011.
Turcott became Rachelle Sayers’ lead assistant eight seasons ago. Turcott assisted the Fighting Saints to the national tournament in three of the past four seasons and five seasons total.
He began coaching at Chinook High before moving onto Great Falls High where he became the head coach in 1979. He spent 11 seasons leading the Bison before getting the call to return to his alma mater and crack the college coaching ranks as the head coach. After retiring in 2009, he returned in 2011 to assist Carroll women’s basketball coach Rachelle Sayers, a capacity he has served for the past eight seasons.
Turcott grew up in Billings, Montana, and graduated from Senior High in 1964. He played football, basketball and baseball. He is a 1968 graduate of Carroll College with a degree in social sciences while he played football. He obtained a Master’s in counseling in 1971 from the University of Montana. He and his wife Donna have five children: Greg, Julie Ann, Ryan, Angela and Julie.
TURCOTT THROUGH THE YEARS
Head Coach Record: 376-223
07-08 (23-9) * Frontier Conference Champions -National Tourney 1 st round
05-06 (30-4) * Frontier Conference Champions -Round of 8
04-05 (28-7)* Frontier Conference Champions -Fab 4
02-03 (27-8) * Frontier Conference Champions -National Tourney 1st round
01-02 (26-8) * Frontier Conference Champions National Tourney 1st round
00-01 (26-6) National Tourney 1st round
97-98 (11-22)* Frontier Conference Champions- National Tourney 1st round
92-93 (10-18)*Frontier Conference Champions
National Tournament Appearances: 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2008
Frontier Conference Championships: 1992, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008
Frontier Conference Runner-Up: 1994, 1995, 2002 and 2003
Frontier Conference “Coach of the Year”: 1992, 1997, 2002, 2005 and 2006
A familiar face in Kansas City during the March “Madness,” his nationally ranked Saints’ squad advanced to the NAIA National Tournament seven times.
Turcott was fortunate to coach numerous NAIA All-America selections. Names like J.D. Solomon, Carroll’s first NAIA All-America pick (2001), Andy Brown (2005) and Travis Williams (2006) are just a few of Turcott’s honorees. Jeff Hays was an NAIA All-Tournament selection his junior season (2005). This season, both senior guard Chad Vaculin and freshman Andy Garland earned honorable mention All-America honors. The Saints had 32 All-Frontier Conference selections during Turcott’s 19 seasons, including four conference MVPs — Andy Brown (2005), Guy Almquist (1997), and Bill Pilgeram (1991, 1992).
8 Years Carroll College WBB assistant coach
National Tourney Appearances: 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
Frontier Conference Champions: 2018
Frontier Conference Runner-up: 2013, 2019
Total NAIA Coaching – 27 Years