Turgeon steps down at Maryland after 10 seasons

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Less than one month into the season, Maryland announced Friday that head coach Mark Turgeon is stepping down, effective immediately.

Turgeon had been in charge of the Terrapins since 2011, and he signed a three-year contract extension in April that was expected to keep him in College Park until 2026. He stood to make more than $17 million over the length of the new contract, but the Baltimore Sun reported last spring that the buyout was $5 million if taken before May 1, 2022.

“After several in depth conversations with Damon, I have decided that the best thing for Maryland Basketball, myself and my family is to step down, effective immediately, as the head coach of Maryland Basketball,” Turgeon said in a statement. “I have always preached that Maryland Basketball is bigger than any one individual. My departure will enable a new voice to guide the team moving forward.

“Maryland Basketball has been my passion and focus for the last 10 seasons, and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished. It is through the combined effort and commitment from our coaches and players, both past and present, that we have sustained consistent success in a sport that is ultra-competitive. I am extremely grateful to have worked with each and every one of you. It has truly been an honor to be the men’s basketball coach at the University of Maryland.”

Danny Manning, who was hired as an assistant coach last summer, has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the season, starting with Sunday’s game vs. Northwestern.

The school said the decision for Turgeon to step down as a mutual one and that a national search for a new coach would take place following this season.

“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 a statement. “He has dedicated over a decade of his life to the University of Maryland, and has coached with distinction and honor. … 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.”

After being ranked in the preseason AP Top 25, Maryland has struggled to a 5-3 start this season. A home loss to Virginia Tech on Wednesday followed a neutral-court loss to Louisville last weekend. Maryland also lost to George Mason at home earlier this season.

Turgeon took over at Maryland in 2011 after four seasons at Texas A&M and seven at Wichita State. He led the Terps to a 226-116 record and five NCAA tournament appearances in the last seven seasons, and he won a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship in 2020 before the NCAA tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After finishing in the top three of the Big Ten each season from 2015-17, Maryland finished higher than fifth just once in the last four seasons. The Terrapins reached the second round of the NCAA tournament last season before falling to Alabama to finish 17-14.

Manning, who played with Turgeon at Kansas in the 1980s, was hired as an assistant in April. He formerly served as head coach at Wake Forest for six seasons and was fired after the 2020 season with a 78-111 mark and just one NCAA tournament appearance.

“We are fortunate that Coach Turgeon has surrounded himself with an outstanding group of coaches,” Evans said. “Coach Manning has been a head coach at the highest level and we have the utmost confidence in his abilities to lead this program.”

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