Kip Turner enters his eighth season as Virginia men’s lacrosse assistant coach and 13th season under Lars Tiffany in 2024.
Helping deliver two NCAA Championships to Charlottesville in back-to-back attempts in 2019 and 2021, Turner is regarded as one of the most respected goalie and faceoff coaches in the nation. In addition to helping the Cavaliers to back-to-back national champions as an assistant coach, Turner anchored the 2006 Virginia squad to the program’s fourth NCAA title as the team’s starting netminder and defensive MVP. As UVA’s assistant coach, Turner has also mentored the likes of Justin Schwenk, Alex Rode, Jared Conners and Petey LaSalla.
Last season, Turner guided Virginia to its seventh consecutive winning season after the Cavaliers posted a 13-4 record and reached Championship Weekend for the third time in the last four NCAA Tournaments. For the eighth straight season a Turner-led team finished in the top 2 in ground balls after the Cavaliers led the nation (39.65/gm) in 2023. Turner mentored second-year goalie Matthew Nunes, who led the ACC in save percentage (.551) in league play. Turner also guided LaSalla to his third career All-ACC honor. LaSalla, who was drafted selected 14th overall by the Whipsnakes in the PLL Draft, finished his UVA career as the NCAA Division-I all-time leader in faceoffs taken (1,781) and No. 4 all-time in faceoffs won (1,050). LaSalla also concluded his tenure as both the program’s career and single-season record holder in faceoff wins and ground balls.
Turner and the Cavaliers captured the program’s 19th ACC championship after becoming the first-ever ACC team to secure five conference wins in a single season. Virginia was the only ACC team that year to earn an NCAA playoff berth after which the Cavaliers won their ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament game, a program record, after posting a 17-10 victory at Turner’s former post, Brown University. Turner recruited and molded Nunes into the ACC Freshman of the Year – the program’s first goalie to win the award since 1999. The nation’s No. 1 goalie prospect in his class, Nunes set a Virginia freshman record of 159 saves in 15 starts in which he went 11-4. Nunes also became UVA’s first freshman goalie to win an NCAA Tournament game since 1999. LaSalla led the conference and finished eighth in the nation in faceoff win percentage (.597), while also scoring eight goals and dishing out two assists. LaSalla is also the program’s recorder holder for faceoff wins and ground balls in a single season as well as in NCAA Tournament games.
In 2021, Turner helped guide fourth-seeded Virginia to its seventh NCAA title after a 17-16 triumphant victory over third-seeded Maryland at Rentschler Field (East Hartford, Conn.) on May 31. With no NCAA Tournament held in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), UVA’s 2021 title marked the first time in men’s lacrosse program history it won back-to-back national championships, having done so in 2019. In 2021, Virginia became just the seventh men’s lacrosse program in Division-I history to win back-to-back national championships and the first D-I men’s lacrosse program to win six straight games in the NCAA finals (1999, 2003, 2006, 2011, 2019 and 2021).
For the fourth consecutive season (excluding 2020 due to COVID-19), Turner conducted a Cavalier unit that was the NCAA Division-I statistical champions in ground balls (41.94/game). Turner also mentored Rode, who one of nine USILA All-American selections for the Cavaliers in 2021. At the 2021 NCAA Tournament, Rode was named an all-tournament selection after recording a tournament-best 53 saves, including a combined 27 saves at championship weekend against North Carolina and Maryland, the nation’s top-2 scoring offenses that year. Rode’s standout moment of the championship game was when denied the Terrapins of a potential game-tying goal with six seconds remaining left in the fourth quarter.
Under the guidance of Turner, Rode finished his career with 598 saves, good for second all-time in program history, while his 39 career wins ranked third all-time. In 2021, Rode finished first in the nation with 212 saves, a UVA single-season record. Rode was also No. 2 in the ACC and 20th in the nation save percentage (.542).
UVA was 4-2 during the 2020 season before it canceled by the NCAA on March 12 due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). During the shortened season, Rode was No. 1 in the ACC an No. 16 in the nation with 13.17 saves per game and No. 2 in the ACC and No. 18 in the nation with a .552 save percentage.
In 2019, Turner helped UVA finish No. 1 nationally in ground balls (41.55/game) as the Cavaliers tied a program record for wins (17), while also capturing the NCAA and ACC titles. Rode was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2019 NCAA Tournament after going 4-0 with 43 saves between the pipes. Rode also recorded 18 saves against Duke in the NCAA semifinal round and posted 13 saves against Yale in the NCAA championship game. As a freshman in 2019, LaSalla was stellar all season at the faceoff X, including going a perfect 6-of-6 in overtime periods. LaSalla, a College Crosse (SB Nation) Freshman All-American (1st), led the ACC after tallying 100 ground balls. He also was second in the ACC and No. 21 in the nation with a .587 faceoff winning percentage. LaSalla’s 216 faceoff wins rank No. 2 in UVA’s single-season record book.
Turner also assisted in UVA leading the nation in ground balls in 2018 and 2017. In 2017, UVA averaged 43.33 ground balls per game, which was nearly seven more ground balls per game then No. 2 Brown (36.56), Turner’s previous coaching stop. Turner helped Brown lead the nation in ground balls in 2016 before he joined Tiffany in Charlottesville for the 2017 campaign.
In 2018, Turner oversaw the emergence of Schwenk at the faceoff X. Schwenk led the ACC and was No. 12 nationally with the .598 winning percentage. Schwenk also led the ACC in ground balls per game (5.71).
In his first two years at his alma mater, Turner has aided in the development of freshman goalies. In 2018, Rode led the ACC with 9.20 saves per game. In 2017, Turner aided in the development of first-year goalie Griffin Thompson. Thompson went on to tie UVA’s freshman single-game record with 18 saves against Robert Morris.
At Brown, Turner helped develop All-Ivy League goalies Matt Chriss and Will Round, as well as a slew of young goalkeepers on the Bears squad, including Kelly, who matured into an All-American and a unanimous first team All-Ivy selection. Turner also was the face-off coach for the Bears, developing Will Gural into one of the top face-off men in the nation in 2015 and 2016.
Turner also practiced his trade in the professional ranks, including leading the Chesapeake Bayhawks to two consecutive MLL Championships in 2012 and 2013. Turner was originally selected second overall in the Major League Lacrosse draft by the Boston Cannons, the highest goalie ever picked in a draft. He made an immediate impact, being named the Cannons’ Defensive MVP in 2008. A three-time MLL Defensive Player of the Week in 2010, Turner was named the MLL Goalkeeper of the Year for his outstanding play. Turner was also selected the starting goalie in the MLL All-Star game in 2013. After a nine-year stint in the MLL, Turner decided to retire in the spring of 2016.
A 2007 graduate of the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in government, Turner was a four-year letterwinner for the Cavaliers. He was a USILA Third Team All-American and the UVA defensive MVP in 2006, leading the undefeated Cavaliers to the ACC Championship and NCAA title. Turner was a First Team All-ACC selection and USILA All-American Honorable Mention in 2007 and named to the All-ACC Tournament Team in 2006 and 2007.
Turner was inducted into the Severn High School Hall of Fame in the spring of 2016 for his achievement in soccer, ice hockey and lacrosse. Turner is married to Emy Deyhle Turner and the couple has one daughter.