Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mark Turgeon Accepts Maryland Job

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
After failing to lure Sean Miller, Jay Wright, Mike Brey or reportedly Brad Stevens to Maryland, Athletic Director Kevin Anderson reached out to the quiet success story in College Station.

Mark Turgeon, in the past four seasons, has lead Texas A&M to 24-win seasons as well as four straight NCAA tournament appearances.

He was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2010 by the Dallas Morning News and was a finalist for the Clair Bee Coach of the Year award following this season.

After being offered by Maryland's AD on Monday, Turgeon accepted the contract offer that same night and will be the successor of Hall of Fame coach Gary Williams.

"It was just too good an offer for me to pass on," Turgeon said in a statement released by the school. "The things 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."

Turgeon is leaving a Texas A&M squad that returns it's top two scorers and has Jamal Branch, a 6'3'' point guard from Humble, Texas, coming in to cover up the loss of senior B.J. Holmes.

With a core of players like Khris Middleton and David Loubeau leading your team with soon-to-be freshman guard Branch in the mix, A&M is sure to be a an appealing job for many coaches.

"The good thing about this compared to when we hired Billy (Gillispie) and when we hired Mark is that we have built ourselves a basketball fan base and we've built ourselves some incredible facilities," Texas A&M's AD Bill Byrne said.

"So going out and attracting a great coach to Texas A&M is going to be a lot easier than when we hired Mark and when we hired Billy." AD Byrne continued saying, "I'm confident we're going to have someone come in who will represent the values of Texas A&M, make sure the kids have a good experience and graduate."

Turgeon embarks on a career that starts with securing Maryland top recruits Nick Faust and Sterling Gibbs. Both decided to wait and see who the head coach was before asking for a release.

"The one thing I feel good about is I inherited a good team," Turgeon said. As it looks now, he inherits a young Maryland roster that is full of talent. 

The Terps did lose Jordan Williams to the draft, but Pe'Shon Howard, Terrell Stoglin, Mychal Parker, Sean Mosley and many other returnee's makes this a great chance to continue his coaching success.

Turgeon is a exceptional coach, in terms of desire to win and developing his players. Khris Middleton was considered a first round NBA draft pick after a magnificent season and despite not having great recruiting success at A&M, he still got the job done.

I think former NBA and College head coach Larry Brown said it best, "He's smart enough to figure out what his kids can do, and tailor what he wants to do on their strengths," he said of Turgeon's coaching style. "He's worked with Roy [Williams], but he's developed his own style. His teams are going to play hard, play unselfish and they are going to guard."

Since beginning his coaching career in '98 with Jacksonville State, Turgeon has only coached two losing season and racked up a record of 250-159 (63%).

Turgeon led Wichita State to a MVC Championship and Sweet 16 along with being named MVC Coach of the Year.

He now embarks on a prestigious program with a ton of basketball history and a chance to blossom in one of the richest basketball cities in the nation.

As for Texas A&M, AD Byrne has a plan. "We always keep a list," he said. "We always know some people that we think will work well with us here, so we'll start that process again."

"I really think we've built ourselves at Texas A&M to the point where we can go out and attract great coaches. If you look at who we've attracted in our sports we've got some really outstanding coaches here."

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