Coach Mark Turgeon will become the next men’s basketball coach at Maryland, replacing Gary Williams, who retired last week after 22 seasons.
Terrapins Athletic Director Kevin Anderson confirmed Turgeon’s hiring Monday night.
Turgeon said it was “just too good an offer for me to pass on. The thing that made it the most difficult was the players. Those guys have done everything I’ve asked for four years and we’ve had a great ride. [Texas A&M Athletic Director] Bill Byrne has been really good to me too. Those are the hardest parts of the whole thing. It’s been a tough day. I’ve been back and forth many times. I just felt like Maryland was a great opportunity for me and my family.”
“Maryland’s got a great basketball tradition,” Turgeon continued. [These programs are] real similar. It’s a gut feeling. Both programs are great. I’m a blessed person to have the choice that I had to make today.”
Turgeon, 46, has 13 seasons of Division I head coaching experience: Jacksonville State (1998-2000), Wichita State (2000-07) and Texas A&M (2007-11). His teams have made five NCAA tournament appearances. In 2006, he led Wichita State to the Sweet 16, and has led Texas A&M to the NCAA tournament the last four seasons, three of which ended in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Those who have worked with Turgeon or coached against Turgeon in the past say that Maryland has made a solid hire.
“I just felt there is not anybody you are going to find to get more out of talent than Mark,” said Jim Schaus, the former athletic director at Wichita State who hired Turgeon there. “He has a great knack of motivating players and getting a team to play together. He is as good a coach as anybody in the country. Wherever he is, he will do a tremendous job. He is just really solid and steady and he does things the right way. One can expect a first-class performance from him and his program wherever he is.
“I was always very impressed that he knew what to do, how to build a program. He comes in, assesses the environment and is able to determine, ‘Here is what I have to do to get it done.’ We worked together. He worked great with the administration and we were a team. He did his part.”
Said former Maryland coach Lefty Driesell, who coached against Turgeon when Driesell was at Georgia State and Turgeon was at Jacksonville State: “He’s a great young man, a great person and an excellent coach. I coached against his teams at Jacksonville State; they were in our league. And I’ve seen his teams on TV.
“He’ll do a good job, I’m sure. He ran the pick-and-roll really well. And his teams played hard. I liked their offense, and they played good defense.
“He’s a good coach that would be an excellent choice, in my opinion. The Maryland people would really like him.”
Date of birth: 2-5-65.
Birthplace: Topeka, Kan.
College: Kansas, bachelor’s degree in personnel administration, 1987.
Family: Wife, Ann; three children, William Harris, Ella, Leo.
ASSISTANT COACHING CAREER
1997-98: Philadelphia 76ers
HEAD COACHING CAREER
Record at Jacksonville State: 25-29
2002-03: 18-12 (NIT first round)
2003-04: 21-11 (NIT first round)
2004-05: 22-10 (NIT second round)
2005-06: 26-9 (NCAA tournament Sweet 16)
Record at Wichita State: 128-90
2007-08: 25-11 (NCAA tournament second round)
2008-09: 24-10 (NCAA tournament second round)
2009-10: 24-10 (NCAA tournament second round)
2010-11: 24-9 (NCAA tournament first round)
Record at Texas A&M: 97-40
Record as a head coach: 249-158