The unexpected move was called “a mutual decision” to part ways between Turgeon and Maryland athletics.
“After a series of conversations with coach Turgeon, we agreed that a coaching change was the best move for coach Turgeon and for the Maryland men’s basketball program,” athletic director Damon Evans said in the announcement.
Turgeon finishes 226-116 at Maryland, winning the 2020 Big Ten regular-season title and reaching the NCAA tournament five times.
In those tournament appearances, Maryland only reached the Sweet 16 once, and Turgeon had received criticism for underachieving with highly talented players.
That criticism continued into the early stages of this season, as the Terps started the season ranked in the top 25, but have played inconsistent basketball in their 5-3 start, including a loss to George Mason.
“I have always preached that Maryland basketball is bigger than any one individual,” Turgeon said. “My departure will enable a new voice to guide the team moving forward.
Assistant coach Danny Manning, who was a teammate of Turgeon‘s at Kansas in the mid-1980s, will take over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season, beginning Sunday at home against Northwestern. Manning previously led the programs at Tulsa and Wake Forest before coming to College Park this season.
Former Maryland coach and Basketball Hall of Famer Gary Williams told CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein that Maryland’s next leader has to have the energy for the position and to take it to a national level.
Gary Williams on Maryland moving forward:— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) December 3, 2021
“The next coach has to take it to that national level. Maryland wants to be a force. I know there’s a lot of great young coaches out there —- I’m not saying those guys should be the next coach. It takes somebody that has the energy.” https://t.co/IdPNB3dYkw
ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale said in a tweet that Turgeon had a hard time getting accepted by the Terrapin fan base because of the status and acclaim Williams had with the program.
In hospital getting Chemo & just learned that Mark Turgeon has stepped down @TerrapinHoops & @CoachDManning will take over . Mark following the popular Hall of Famer GARY WILLIAMS who Terp fans loved had a tough time being accepted by the fan base .— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) December 3, 2021
The vacancy will leave Evans with another opportunity to leave his imprint on the Maryland athletics after hiring football coach Mike Locksley in 2018. He had just announced an extension in April with Turgeon that would have kept him as Terrapins coach though the 2025-26 season.
• George Gerbo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.