Turgeon as the Maryland Men’s Hoops Coach; Interim
Mark Turgeon’s tenure in Maryland is over, less than a month after starting his 11th season at the helm.
Once again, the Terrapins struggled to reach their potential – although the abrupt change always came with a jerk, just eight games into the 2021-22 campaign.
“After a series of conversations with Coach Turgeon, we agreed that a change of coach was the best decision for Coach Turgeon and for the Maryland men’s basketball program,” said athletic director Damon. Evans in a statement. “He dedicated over a decade of his life to the University of Maryland and coached with distinction and honor.”
Maryland announced on Friday that Turgeon was stepping down and the athletic department described the move as a mutual one. Assistant Danny Manning has been named interim coach for the remainder of the season.
When he took over, Turgeon had the difficult task of replacing Gary Williams, who led the Terrapins to their only national title in men’s basketball in 2002. Turgeon mostly kept Maryland relevant both in the ACC. and in Big Ten, but the program never reached its previous level. Heights.
The Terrapins have won at least 23 games in five of the past seven seasons, but Maryland has only reached Sweet 16 once under Turgeon and has gone no further. The Terps started this season in the Top 25, but a home loss to Virginia Tech on Wednesday night dropped them to 5-3 this season.
“After several in-depth conversations with Damon, I decided that the best thing for Maryland basketball, myself and my family was to step down, effective immediately, as the head basketball coach of Maryland. Maryland, ”Turgeon said. “I’ve always preached that Maryland basketball is bigger than any individual. My departure will allow a new voice to guide the team forward. “
Turgeon’s departure comes as top-tier college programs seemed increasingly willing to step down from their coaches before the end of the season. This has been particularly evident in football, with Southern California, LSU and Florida among the most notable examples. It remains to be seen if the trend will continue throughout the basketball season as well, but Turgeon’s departure could be an early indicator.
Maryland has an experienced option to turn to. Manning, who led Kansas to the NCAA title in 1988, spent six years as a head coach at Wake Forest before joining the Terps as an assistant that season. Manning and Turgeon played three seasons together in Kansas.
Manning was also the head coach of Tulsa before taking over the Wake Forest program.
“We are fortunate that Coach Turgeon has surrounded himself with an exceptional group of coaches,” said Evans. “Coach Manning has been a head coach at the highest level and we have the utmost confidence in his ability to lead this program. “
Maryland won the Big Ten in 2020, their first conference title since joining the league in the middle of the decade. However, the Terps were unable to build on this breakthrough. The NCAA tournament that year was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic, and last season the Terrapins saw an inconsistent 17-14 campaign.
The 2021-22 Terps have added a few key transfers to forward Qudus Wahab and goalie Fatts Russell, but the team haven’t played particularly well so far. Maryland lost to George Mason, barely beat Hofstra, and lost to Louisville and Virginia Tech.
Turgeon went 226-116 at Maryland and is 476-275 overall as a head coach. He coached at Jacksonville State, Wichita State and Texas A&M before being hired to take over the Terrapins.
“Maryland basketball has been my passion and my goal for the past 10 seasons, and I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished,” said Turgeon. “It is through the combined efforts and commitment of our coaches and players, past and present, that we have enjoyed consistent success in an ultra-competitive sport. … It has truly been an honor to be there basketball coach at the University of Maryland.
Maryland said a nationwide search for the next coach will begin after the season. Manning’s first game in charge comes this weekend when the Terps open the Big Ten on Sunday against Northwestern.
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