Community dedicates T.J. Turner Training Center at Lufkin High School

Turner went on to play for the Miami Dolphins, but died in 2009 after complications from a stroke.
Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 11:43 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2023 at 6:11 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Lufkin High School dedicated their training center to a past star on Thursday.

Track, field, and football star T.J. Turner graduated from Lufkin High School in 1982. He went on to play football at the University of Houston, and was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the third round of the 1986 draft.

Turner passed away in 2009 due to complications from a stroke. Now his legacy will forever live on thanks to the newly dedicated T.J. Turner training center. Charles Trout, a classmate of Turners, said it was well deserved.

“T.J. was just kind of the whole package, he was a phenomenal athlete, a good father, very generous and kind, and nobody’s ever had anything bad to say about him.”

Lufkin ISD deputy superintendent Kurt Stephens tells how the dedication came about.

“One of the class of ‘82 graduates, Mr. Trout, sent a proposal in to name the indoor facility after T.J. Turner.”

Stephens said the community was all in.

“April of ‘22 is when Mr. Trout reached out to us, and we took that proposal to the tri-ethnic committee, to get feedback from the community, which was all positive, everything was good.”

Turner’s wife, children, and siblings were all there to see their husband, father, and brother, be honored.

“T.J. was a great athlete, he was a great person on and off the field, a great athlete, but above all he was a wonderful husband, a wonderful father, and just a wonderful person all around, and we will forever miss him.” said hunter’s wife Kathy.

Lufkin ISD superintendent Lynn Torres said the decision to honor Turner was an easy one for everyone involved.

The training center will continue to be used by sports teams at Lufkin High School.