Gary Williams’ seat has now been filled. It took Mark Turgeon roughly 24 hours to decide to leave Texas A&M to take over the basketball program at the University of Maryland, and he will be introduced on Wednesday in College Park. Though he said it was a difficult decision, Turgeon ultimately left his post with the Aggies to take over at what is a tradition-rich basketball school in the ACC.
The 46-year-old Turgeon reportedly held an emotional meeting with his players before announcing his intention to leave shortly before midnight Monday night.
The new coach of the Terrapins claims he had several conversations about the job with with the retiring Williams. Williams told sources on Monday that he felt comfortable a successor would be in place soon and would be successful.
It’s a bold move for Turgeon, especially considering that the Aggies are set up to be a contender in the Big 12 next season. But the allure of a basketball-first school was ultimately too much.
Turgeon took over at Texas A&M in 2007, following a seven-year run at Wichita State. He went 128-90 with the Shockers, including a Missouri Valley Conference title and a Sweet 16 appearance in 2006. He was an immediate success after replacing Billy Gillispie at Texas A&M, as he compiled a record of 97-40 in his four years there, making the NCAA Tournament each season.
Turgeon will be inheriting a Maryland team that missed missed postseason play this year, and finished with a 19-14 record. The Terrapins have been back to the Sweet 16 just once since winning the 2002 National title.
Texas A&M’s first target to replace Turgeon will likely be Marquette’s Buzz Williams, a former Aggies assistant under Gillispie. We doubt Williams will leave Milwaukee after inking a contract extension recently, but Texas A&M will almost certainly try.