Keena Turner exemplified the 49ers’ dominance in the National Football League throughout the 1980s. He was a versatile, game-changing linebacker throughout his 11-year professional career. His impact was also felt off the field with the integrity, class and commitment he demonstrated during and after his playing days. He played his entire professional football career with the 49ers. Turner appeared in 153 regular-season games during a career that spanned from 1980 to 1990. K.T. appeared in the playoffs eight times, including on the 49ers’ first Super Bowl Champion. He recorded a sack as part of an outstanding defensive effort that led the 49ers to a 26-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengalis in Super Bowl XVI. Turner won four Super Bowl rings during his time with the 49ers. He was a starter on all three of pro football hall of fame coach Bill Walsh’s Super Bowl-winning teams. “Keena was just a great, great player for many years,” Walsh said. “He was the best all-around linebacker in the league for a 10-year period. He could do it all. Keena was a key to those championship teams.” A 2006 inductee into the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame, Turner entered the NFL as a second-round draft pick. He won the 49ers’ most prestigious team honor, the Len Eshmont Award, for exemplifying “courageous and inspirational play” in 1984. He was also chosen to the Pro Bowl following that same championship season. After his retirement, he continued to thrive in a variety of roles. He coached three seasons (1992 to 1994) on Walsh’s staff at Stanford. Turner returned to the 49ers in 1998 and performed a wide array of duties with the organization, including a front-office promotion in 2018 to vice president and senior advisor to the general manager. Said GM John Lynch, “I don’t think there’s a person in our building who understands the 49er way more than Keena.”

Narrative by Matt Maiocco