Turnbow back home at THS

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

Thompson High School varsity volleyball coach Kellyanne Gandy Turnbow is home again. A basketball and volleyball player at Thompson in the early ’90s, she earned a full four-year volleyball scholarship to the University of Alabama at Birmingham along with an Emerging Leadership scholarship. Athletic and smart! At Thompson, Debbie Seales had been her coach and mentor.

Raised in a Christ-centered family home, Turnbow wears who she is. She’s not “in your face” with her religion, but by being an example of the kind of person, coach and teacher a Christian should be, she hopes to show her students and players that their life matters. Study hard, practice hard, seek help and advice, and whatever it is in life, volleyball or business technology application, etc., you can succeed.

“In this life on earth, it is important that we develop our life skills, learn self-discipline, make good decisions, use time wisely, stay focused, be organized and stay committed,” Turnbow said.

Thompson High School varsity volleyball coach Kellyanne Turnbow. (Contributed)

Turnbow was buddies with future husband Anthony Turnbow when he played football at UAB at the same time she was playing volleyball. They graduated, went their own ways and, much later, reconnected. Anthony had been married, divorced and had full custody of his son. Kellyanne loves her 12-year-old step-son, Trey, and the feeling seems to be the same with all the well-known Gandy family. Grandparents Bill and Pam live right down the street and attend his school functions – Washington trip, etc. Uncles Seth and Malachi Gandy, former THS athletes themselves, complete the Gandy circle of acceptance and love.

The Turnbows went to Cancun on their honeymoon three years ago, but really enjoy their home, family, sports involvements and jobs. No civic or community involvement right now. Their church home is, of course, dad Rev. Bill Gandy’s Church at the Mill.

For 10 years, Turnbow was employed as a mortgage underwriter, but the stress got to be too much so she returned to what she knew best and what made her happy. Although hours are long and the work is hard, coaching and teaching give Turnbow what she loves and a place where she is able to be a successful mentor to our young people.

“I want to be a positive influence on my players and students,” she said.

Welcome back, Coach Turnbow!