COVINGTON, Ga. — One day a few years back, Morgan Turner — though many people may remember her by her maiden name Morgan Green — was in need of some soccer equipment. So, she called her former high school head coach Joel Singleton to see if he could help her out.
Singleton agreed to help Turner, but the former Lady Eagle got more than she bargained for. He asked her if she wanted to return to her alma mater and be the head junior varsity coach.
“It’s pretty cool coming back. Singleton coached me and we’ve stayed in touch all this time,” Turner said. “I actually asked to borrow some equipment one time and he was like, ‘Hey, we need some help.’ Then it just worked out and it’s been fun being back.”
Timing has played a pivotal role in Turner’s return.
After completing her four-year career with the Lady Eagles, Turner signed to play soccer for Georgia Military College. Two seasons later, she transferred to Reinhardt University and played for one year.
Turner didn’t compete at Reinhardt in her final year of eligibility, though.
“I had a year of eligibility left, but I ended up coming home and coaching kind of fell into my lap, so it all worked out,” Turner said.
Turner served as the head junior varsity girls soccer coach the past four years, but this season Singleton promoted her to be an assistant varsity coach.
Once again, the timing of Turner’s promotion was key.
“I think it was time,” Turner said. “I actually just had a baby also, so being an assistant took a little bit of pressure off me being the head coach. It was just good timing.”
Turner was no stranger to the Lady Eagles, though, when she returned to the program in 2019.
She played for the Lady Eagles from 2012-2016. During her high school career, she was a four-year varsity starter and served as captain for three years.
At the end of her sophomore season, Turner led Eastside in goals and assists followed by her junior year where she had the most assists. Turner was named 2nd Team All-Region as a sophomore and 1st Team as a junior, too.
Compared to her playing days, though, Turner has noticed one main difference.
“They are a lot better now than we were when I played skill level wise,” Turner said. “We’ve got more to choose from these days and more people play soccer. We just didn’t have a lot of players who played club ball. A lot of our players now play club and play in the offseason.”
At the end of her Lady Eagles’ career, Turner signed to play for Georgia Military College. Turner was a contributor to the Lady Bulldogs’ Region XVII championship and their spot in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I National Championship tournament as a sophomore.
Turner can’t remember a time she didn’t enjoy playing soccer as she has played since she was 4 years old.
Nevertheless, Turner admitted there’s been an aspect of coaching that she finds challenging in her transition.
“The hardest thing for me is I know how to do it, but it’s trying to explain how to do it to the girls,” Turner said. “I know what they need to do and how they need to do it, but it’s trying to find the words in coaching terms to relay that to them.”
No matter if she’s playing or coaching soccer, however, one thing that remained — Turner’s nickname “Moe.”
Turner’s coaches and teammates have always called her “Moe,” but now there’s a twist to it.
“I’ve been ‘Moe’ for all my soccer years for as long as I can remember,” Turner said. “My husband, my family and pretty much everybody calls me Moe these days. Then, when I first started coaching, I’ve always been ‘coach Moe.’”
‘Coach Moe’ has thoroughly enjoyed her time serving in her new role as varsity assistant for her alma mater.
And, even though there have been some changes since she graduated in 2016, the feeling of being an Eastside Lady Eagle hasn’t.
“It’s home. We’re all a big family,” Turner said. “Because I did coach JV for so long, I’ve coached every one of these girls before they got up to varsity. It’s good to have been able to watch them grow.”