Mark Turgeon steps down as Maryland men’s basketball head coach

(Photo Courtesy of APNews/Terrance Williams)

In a mutual decision, Mark Turgeon stepped down as head coach for Maryland men’s basketball on Friday. Maryland Athletics director Damon Evans appointed assistant coach Danny Manning as interim head coach for the remainder of the 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,” Evans said in a release. “He has dedicated over a decade of his life to the University of Maryland, and has coached with distinction and honor. He leaves College Park as the 2020 Big Ten Conference champion and with more than 225 victories. 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.”

The decision to depart stems from years of discontent from a fan base that has recently come to a head in the opening eight games of the 2021 season. Turgeon’s resignation came just two days after a loss to Virginia Tech that featured ‘fire Mark Turgeon’ chants and boos at Xfinity Center. The rising, near-consensus, fan disapproval has been a large theme of Maryland’s 5-3 start, as the team began the season ranked No. 21 with several heralded newcomers and winning ambitions. The fan dissatisfaction took a toll on Turgeon, according to The Washington Post. 

“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. “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.”

This news also comes just eight months after Turgeon signed an incentive-laden deal that would have kept him in College Park until 2026. In spite of agreeing to step down, Turgeon will receive a $5 million buyout. After 10 seasons at the helm of the men’s basketball program Turgeon recorded a 226-116 record, five NCAA tournament berths and one Sweet Sixteen appearance.