A direct numerical simulation (DNS) of spanwise-rotating turbulent channel flow was conducted for four rotation numbers: , 0.2, 0.5, and 0.9 at a Reynolds number of 8000 based on laminar centerline mean velocity and Prandtl number 0.71. The results obtained from these DNS simulations were utilized to evaluate several turbulence closure models for momentum and heat transfer transport in rotating turbulent channel flow. Four nonlinear eddy viscosity turbulence models were tested and among these, explicit algebraic Reynolds stress models (EARSM) obtained the Reynolds stress distributions in best agreement with DNS data for rotational flows. The modeled pressure–strain functions of EARSM were shown to have strong influence on the Reynolds stress distributions near the wall. Turbulent heat flux distributions obtained from two explicit algebraic heat flux models (EAHFM) consistently displayed increasing disagreement with DNS data with increasing rotation rate.