Monday, April 21, 2014
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BREAKING: Basketball legend Clarence Turner has died

BREAKING: Basketball legend Clarence Turner has died

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By Phil Anastasia

Legendary Camden High School basketball coach Clarence Turner has died, according to his son Eric Turner.

Clarence Turner was 81. He was living in Chicago and had been battling Alzheimers Disease for around the last five years, according to his son.

Eric Turner said his father passed in the early morning hours on Sunday.

Eric Turner said his father's body would be flown back to Camden for a viewing and funeral, likely this week. Details were still pending.

Clarence Turner won 775 games and seven state titles during his long and colorful career at Camden.

He took over in 1971 and turned the Panthers into a national power. Camden won state titles in 1974, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1987 under Turner.

He coached some of the best players in South Jersey history, including future NFL stars Derrick Ramsey and Art Still, Billy Culbertson, Milt Wagner, Billy Thompson, Kevin Walls, Louis Banks, Vic Carstarphen, Arthur Barclay and Dajuan Wagner, among many others.

"We lost a legend," Barclay said,

Turner was South Jersey's all-time leader in coaching until current St. Augustine coach Paul Rodio passed his record this past season.

Turner still is No. 1 in South Jersey history in public school victories, and no coach has won more state titles or sectional titles (22).

"He's in a better place," Eric Turner said.

Clarence Turner is survived by his wife, Sharon, as well as Eric and a daughter, Lisa.

-- Contact Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com

-- Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter

 

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About this blog
Born and raised in South Jersey, Phil Anastasia prefers standing on the sidelines at high school football games on Friday nights to sitting in the press box at Eagles games on Sunday afternoons. He’s a graduate of Rowan University with a degree in English. Reach Phil at panastasia@phillynews.com.

Phil Anastasia Inquirer Columnist
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