COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — Eight games into the season, the University of Maryland and men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon have mutually agreed to part ways, the university said Friday.
Assistant Danny Manning will serve as interim head coach.READ MORE: Members Of Safe Streets Plan To Honor DaShawn McGrier On Saturday
In a statement, athletic director Damon Evans said he and Turgeon had several conversations before deciding on a coaching change.
Evans lauded Turgeon’s decade-plus career with the Terps, saying he coached with “distinction and honor.”
“He leaves College Park as the 2020 Big Ten Conference champion and with more than 225 victories,” Evans said. “He’s a great coach and a great person, and I wish Mark, his wife Ann and his entire family all the best in the next chapter of their lives.”
In a statement, Turgeon said the decision to leave was the best move for the team, himself and his family.
“I have always preached that Maryland Basketball is bigger than any one individual,” he said. “My departure will enable a new voice to guide the team moving forward.”
In April, the university extended Turgeon’s contract through the 2025-2026 season.
Some students aren’t so sad to see him go.
“I’m not going to lie. Me and my friends were celebrating,” said freshman JT Shatzer. “The group chat was going crazy! We were like, “it’s about damn time!”READ MORE: Ravens And Defensive Coordinator Don 'Wink' Martindale Agree To Part Ways, Harbaugh Says
“I never liked Mark Turgeon,” said student Xavier Melendez. “He always had talent, could never do anything with it. You go to the game, they pass it around for 30 seconds and just miss a shot. It’s boring!”
Maryland won at least 23 games in five of the past seven seasons. But after opening the season ranked No. 21 in the preseason AP Top 25, the Terrapins have underperformed this year, losing their last two games, including a home loss to Virginia Tech.
Prior to that, the Terps lost a Nov. 17 game at the Xfinity Center to George Mason and barely escaped with a win against Hofstra two days later.
Turgeon leaves Maryland with a record of 226-116 in 10 full years, plus the eight games played in 2021-2022 season.
Freshman Danya Taub didn’t expect the change to come this early.“I was really shocked because it’s mid-season. That was a little weird. I don’t follow very much,” she said. “I feel like its usually between seasons that they switch coaches.”
Under his watch, the Terps transitioned from the ACC to the Big Ten and made the NCAA Tournament five times after switching conferences. But Maryland has only reached the Sweet 16 once during his tenure and hasn’t advanced beyond that.
One of his best teams, the 2019-20 squad starring guards Anthony Cowan and Aaron Wiggins and forward Jalen Smith, finished in a three-way tie for the Big Ten regular season title. Many predicted a deep postseason run, but both the conference and NCAA tournaments were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They finished the season ranked 12th in the AP’s final Top 25 poll.
Earlier this year, Turgeon talked of his desire to go deeper in the tournament after the Terrapins landed transfer several key transfers, including forward Qudus Wahab from Georgetown and guard Fatts Russell from Rhode Island.MORE NEWS: Report Card Shows Maryland Is Unprepared For Damage Inflicted By Climate Change
“I’m a blessed guy,” Turgeon said in October. “At some point, I’m going to be blessed enough to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. We’ve been really consistent.”