Originally written on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 1/4/13
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MIAMI (AP) -- Florida International announced the hiring of football coach Ron Turner at an introductory news conference Friday. Turner signed a five-year deal with a base salary of 500,000 on Thursday night. He takes over for Mario Cristobal after a 3-9 season and will look to lead the Golden Panthers into Conference USA from the Sun Belt. "I really believe this program is ready to take the next step, which is to win at a high level in Conference USA, to win consistently and compete for a Conference USA championship on a regular basis," Turner said. "That's our goal. That's our vision." The 59-year-old Turner returns to college football for the first time since he was fired at Illinois in 2004 after eight seasons as the head coach. He was the quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past season and has coached 12 years in the NFL. "I love the challenge of being the head coach," Turner said. "The happiest times I've had in coaching were the nine years that I was the head...
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