- The Washington Times
Thursday, April 8, 2021

For much of Mark Turgeon’s 10-year tenure at the helm of Maryland basketball, the major sticking point has been his postseason success — or lack thereof.

Turgeon has led the Terrapins to the Sweet 16 just once, in 2016. And while Turgeon has brought his team to the NCAA Tournament in five of the last six seasons there have been postseason competitions, Maryland has never beaten a team seeded sixth or higher.

So Turgeon’s new contract — which the university announced Wednesday night — comes with several postseason incentives, underlining what the school expects moving forward. 

According to a copy of the contract obtained by The Washington Times through a public record request, Turgeon would earn a one-year extension for either a Big Ten regular-season or tournament championship; those extensions are cumulative.

If Turgeon brings the Terrapins to their second Sweet 16 appearance since 2003, he’d receive another one-year extension. That extension bumps to two years should they make the Elite Eight, while a Final Four run would earn Turgeon an additional six years (though the remaining length of Turgeon’s deal can’t exceed six years).

After Maryland dropped its second-round NCAA Tournament matchup to Alabama, pressure on Turgeon from outside the athletic department grew, but a buyout would have cost the university the remainder of his base salary and supplemental income had they parted ways — about $6 million.

Under the new deal, Turgeon’s long-term viability at Maryland is more closely tied to postseason success.

Turgeon’s buyout is now set at $5 million if he’s fired before May 1, 2022. That total drops half a million before May 1, 2023, before dropping another million in 2024 to leave Turgeon’s buyout at $2.5 million. If he’s fired during the final year of his deal, Maryland wouldn’t owe Turgeon anything.

But the buyout changes with postseason success, rising by $1 million any time the Terrapins win a Big Ten regular-season or tournament title. A Sweet Sixteen appearance increases Turgeon’s buyout by another million and making it to the Final Four would increase the buyout to 75% of his remaining base salary and supplemental income.

The three-year extension runs through the 2025-26 campaign with a base salary of $725,000. But Turgeon’s supplemental income drives the value of the deal to about $17 million over the next five years.

The contract defines supplemental income for Turgeon’s appearances on university-produced television and radio shows, for apparel contracts and for making promotional and fundraising appearances for Maryland. The supplemental income starts just shy of $2.58 million and rises in $100,000 increments for the remaining five years of his contract.

Turgeon can also receive competitive bonuses worth up to $545,000. Winning a share of the Big Ten title — as the Terrapins did in 2019-20 — would earn Turgeon an additional $50,000, while an outright conference title win would draw $75,000. Should Turgeon secure a conference tournament championship, he’d make $75,000 more, although Maryland has won just three Big Ten tournament games in the six seasons the team has been involved.

A longer run in the NCAA tournament yields a maximum bonus of $250,000 (for a national championship), with a Sweet 16 appearance totaling $75,000.

• Andy Kostka can be reached at akostka@washingtontimes.com.

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