Keena Turner gets his degree from Purdue, more than 40 years later

January 24, 1982: Super Bowl XVI - Cincinnati Bengals v San Francico 49ers
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Decades after winning four Super Bowl rings, Keena Turner has a four-year degree from the college where he played football.

Via NIck Wagoner of ESPN.com, the former 49ers linebacker graduated Saturday from Purdue. He received his diploma on the same day as his daughter, Ella.

“Here’s the stadium I played in, and it had all those kind of emotions and memories,” Keena Turner said, via Wagoner. “Over this last year, we weren’t sure if there would be a physical graduation, so there was all of this uncertainty about how it would happen, and so for Purdue to have a physical graduation and have all the graduates in the stadium and getting the opportunity to be acknowledged by family and friends in this way, it was great.”

Drafted by the Dolphins in 1980, Turner promptly was traded to the 49ers. He played for the 49ers through 1990, serving as a member of teams that won Super Bowl XVI, XIX, XXIII, and XXIV.

He’s currently serves as the 49ers’ vice president and senior advisor to the General Manager.

10 responses to “Keena Turner gets his degree from Purdue, more than 40 years later

  1. Awesome! Good job Keena. Keena Turner was one of the best all time 49ers. Maybe he wasn’t a HOFer. Maybe he didn’t go to the pro bowl every single year. What he did was show up every Sunday and make plays at a high level that led to four super bowls. And he was a great guy and wonderful teammate. No surprise he’s still employed by the team.

  2. Not a star but one of the rock solid role players that form the foundation of championship teams. Getting his degree, even if belated, on the same day as his daughter, way cool.

  3. As a fellow Purdue Boilermaker alum, I say a huge congrats to them both. Boiler Up! BTFU!

  4. Awesome! Good job Keena. Keena Turner was one of the best all time 49ers. Maybe he wasn’t a HOFer. Maybe he didn’t go to the pro bowl every single year. What he did was show up every Sunday and make plays at a high level that led to four super bowls. And he was a great guy and wonderful teammate. No surprise he’s still employed by the team.

    You don’t dominate like they did without those guys. Although I wish the story delved deeper as to why he waited til now. I’m always interested in these kinds of things.

  5. Never too late, and thank you for reporting this story. For the above commenter, maybe it is actually similar to Back to School, without all the hi-jinks. Maybe his daughter and him decided they would do it together. I have 3 daughters and we love each other very much. I could never say no to them. Maybe she asked him to do finish, and he couldn’t say no to her. The reason why it took him until now to do it doesn’t matter, that he did it is all that matters.

  6. A great example for young people who have had to step away from college for one reason or another. It’s never too late to go back. I’ve told my kids you could lose a job, house, etc. But once you complete the degree, it can’t be taken away. Congrats to both Turner’s on this achievement.

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