Liberty head football coach Turner Gill announced earlier today he is retiring from coaching football effective immediately, the school announced. A national search for the 9th head coach in the history of the program will begin immediately.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my retirement from coaching,” Gill said via release. “In the summer of 2016, my wife Gayle was diagnosed with a heart condition. Both Gayle and I wanted to be here to help Liberty through their transition and we are so glad to have done so. We have come to the realization that it is now time for me to step away. I can’t put into words how much this coaching staff, support staff and the players mean to us. We are so thankful for President Falwell, Becki Falwell and Ian McCaw and their support during our time here. They, as well as all of those mentioned, have been and will continue to be blessings in our lives. To God be the glory.”

Gill was Liberty’s coach for 7 seasons, ending his tenure with a 47-35 record at Liberty and a career head coaching record of 72-84. He led Liberty to an upset of #1 ranked Coastal Carolina to earn the program’s only trip to the FCS Playoffs. In the program’s first ever playoff game, Liberty knocked off James Madison in Harrisonburg. The Flames have finished with a winning record in each of his 7 seasons.┬áHe came to Liberty in December 2011 after being fired from Kansas. He was just 5-19 in 2 seasons with the Jayhawks.

“We are grateful and deeply indebted to Turner for successfully leading Liberty football from the FCS to FBS,” Liberty AD Ian McCaw stated. “He’s had a transformational impact on the football program and our student-athletes over the past 7 years. We wish him and his family the very best as the Lord leads them into the next stage of their life.”