Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Weeks later, Maryland fans continue to debate Mark Turgeon’s abrupt departure

By Josh Caplan

Following a defeat to Virginia Tech at home on December 1, Maryland men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon was booed off the court by multiple sections of the College Park crowd. The loss had Turgeon’s squad standing at five wins and three losses, and something had to give.

Two days later, something did. 

Maryland Athletics announced that it would mutually be parting ways with Turgeon. The move, particularly very early on in the season, caught some people off guard. 

Jeremy Goldstein, a junior at Maryland, had mixed feelings about the move.

“My initial reaction was a slight shock,” Goldstein said, “because he had been here for so long. But I was also relieved that there would finally be a new future.”

Turgeon had been at Maryland for over a decade. He compiled 226 wins, a 2020 Big Ten regular-season title, and led the Terps to five of the last six NCAA Tournaments, which would have been six of seven had the 2020 tournament been held. 

Harrison Prahl, a junior engineering major, felt that because of these accomplishments, perhaps Turgeon deserved a little more support and respect. 

“People don’t realize how much he’s done for this program,” Prahl said, “and the players he’s brought in. He’s an easy scapegoat, and there’s no denying he’s not the perfect coach, but he had no support this season, to begin with.”

Prahl did add, however, that it was clear that the way the season was going, a move would most likely have happened at the end of the season.

The one topic that a lot of fans have been using to support a move on from Coach Turgeon was that although he had brought the team to the NCAA tournament on many occasions, he had only made one Sweet Sixteen appearance. 

The lack of postseason success was the first thing that Baltimore native and current junior at Maryland Brady Greenberg brought up when talking about why he believed it was time for Turgeon to go.

“I think that we expect more here,” Greenberg said, “because Maryland is a basketball school. One Sweet Sixteen in ten-plus years isn’t good enough.”

Maryland Athletics stated in its press release about parting ways with Coach Turgeon that assistant coach Danny Manning would be the interim head coach, and that a national search for a new head coach would be conducted at the end of the season.

Although it is not certain Manning will be a part of the program after the season, the Terps have seemed reenergized in their two games since he has taken over. After a narrow loss at home to Northwestern, the Terps traveled to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and upset No. 20 Florida in a nailbiter, 70-68. 

Greenberg said he likes what he has seen from the team since Turgeon left, but added that whoever the new coach is has a tall task ahead of them.

“This is Maryland basketball, and there’s a tradition of success here. The new coach doesn’t have to bring us back to where we were right away, but given some time this is a top 10-15 job, and the program should reflect that,” Greenberg said.

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