We’ve covered this story extensively over the past day or so, so there will be some repetition, but here goes.
From Topeka, Kansas, Turgeon played point guard at Kansas under Larry Brown, where the Jayhawks made four straight NCAA Tournaments. Fans called him “The Surgeon”, which is something I think Terps’ fans can work on. Brown suggested Turgeon become a coach and helped mentor him while at Kansas, which is more than good enough for me.
Turgeon served as an assistant at Kansas from 1987-92 and then moved to Oregon from 1992-97. He was an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers from 1997-98 before being hired by Jacksonville State as their new head coach. After going 8-18 and finishing tied for tenth in the conference his first year, Turgeon quickly turned around the program, going 17-11 with a 12-6 conference record in his second year.
In 2000, Turgeon was hired by a terrible Wichita State program – one that he turned into one of the better mid-major programs in the country. After a 9-19 record in his first year and 15-15 in his second, the Shockers made three straight NITs before winning 26 games and the Big South conference in 2005-06, leading Wichita State to a Sweet Sixteen berth.
In 2007, he was hired by Texas A&M, and found quick success at College Station. In four years, he posted a 97-40 record and made four NCAA Tournament berths. Via kenpom’s coaching resumes, we can see exactly how much success he’s had. He’s had extremely balanced teams (top 100 in adjusted offense every year since 2003, top 100 in adjusted defense every year since 2006) that make it to the free throw line a lot and don’t allow many offensive rebounds. Take a look at those numbers on that page. That’s a lot of green squares.
Turgeon has a great reputation, and as Testudo Times pointed out, there are similarities to Gary (via):
"Mark Turgeon coaches a man-on-man defensive style, with occasional zone, and a guard oriented offense. Although he is known for his intense competitiveness and desire to win, Turgeon treats his players well, with some even saying they see him as a sort of father figure, as opposed to just a coach."
On the downside, he’s not known as a great recruiter, doesn’t have many ties in this area, and he never found great success in the postseason with A&M. He did land four-star Naji Hibbert from DeMatha, so that is something to work with.
Personally, I really like the hire. He’s no Sean Miller, but the resemblance in personality to Gary can not be ignored. He learned from one of the greatest coaches ever in Larry Brown, and has a reputation of playing by-the-book, which is always important.
Now we’ll see the fall-out. How many assistants will stay? Hopefully all of them, especially Ehsan and Bino. What about the recruits? I feel very confident that Nick Faust, Martin Breunig, and Justin Anderson aren’t going anywhere, but I’m not so sure about Sterling Gibbs. I’m sure that will be the main focus of the next few days.
In the meantime, just be happy this circus is over. Maryland hired a good basketball coach. It’s not the out-of-the-ballpark hire a lot of people were talking about, but it’s one that can turn into that kind of move if he lives up to his potential.