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Mark Turgeon fired at Maryland. Who do the Terps hire next? Who could be the next Big Ten coach fired?

Looking at what went wrong for Mark Turgeon at Maryland, speculating about who the Terps hire next, and considering if another Big Ten firing is on the way...

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Maryland
For sartorial as well as basketballing crimes, we can only hope.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Well, well, well, a rare midseason basketball coach firing:

The Maryland Terrapins announced today the firing of 16-year head coach Mark Turgeon. The former Jacksonville State, Wichita State, and Texas A&M head coach leaves with a record of 226-116 overall at Maryland, including an 82-50 mark in the Big Ten with a shared regular-season conference title in the COVID-shortened 2019-20 season.

This year, Maryland started 5-3 under Turgeon heading into Big Ten play, opening the season ranked but struggling with George Washington (notably dead 222 years) and Vermont before losing to George Mason (notably dead 230 years) and both Louisville and Virginia Tech (notably dead inside).

Rapid Reactions

What follows is mostly the stream-of-consciousness discussino that occurred in the OTE writers’ Slack room. It’s been lightly restructured for format, but all opinions remain unedited. Enjoy:

Non-Terps: What’s your response to the Turgeon firing/resignation?


Usually you need to lose to Winona State to have your coach catapulted before conference games start. Like, how many coaching changes before conference season can anyone remember? I’ve got one.

misdreavus79: So, like, we’re going to find out if it was Turgeon all along now, yes?

Jesse Collins: I mean, they can blame him for the rest of this season no matter what, right?

misdreavus: Yeah, I meant moving forward.

JC: Ha, fair. It’s gonna be SUPER fascinating what they do next.

misdreavus: Yeah. Not that Maryland can’t make a good hire, but for almost what, five years, it’s been so easy to point at Turgeon as the reason for all their troubles. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

BoilerUp89: Thought this was a joke at first. Who fires their basketball coach in Dec[ember]? nobody is going to take the job until March.

WSR: When the coach is a cancer and nobody wants to deal with anymore, you have to make a move.

[Then this link was shared.]

It’s almost completely unheard of.

MNW: Maryland, the Tennessee Football of College Basketball, My Column:

Green Akers: Now, now, that’s not fair.

Occasionally Tennessee football has a player go on to a successful pro career.

misdreavus: I’m just sad that our dominance against Maryland may finally come to an end.

BoilerUp89: And here I thought waiting til year 17 for a final four could pay off in a big way. This is only year 11 for Turgeon at Maryland.

beez: I just want my OTE bonus for correctly recognizing him as a bad coach and thus calling him Turdg for years.

A Maryland Fan (Re-)Enters the Chat!


Green Akers: You helped!

DJ: He couldn’t recruit anyways. He threw the towel in on HS recruiting and said he was focused on the portal.

[BoilerUp’s comment] is why he is finally gone. One Sweet Sixteen in 11 years and he finally lost the big donor base.

This is amazing.

Green Akers: It basically sounds like your fanbase’s bullying played a real role here. You already had one mid season transfer this year, and had 3 last year correct?

DJ: Hell yeah. He got booed out of the stadium when they lost the other night. They were chanting “Fire Turgeon” all game. Can’t argue [with the Tennessee crack], but Turgeon blows. We are 338th in 3pt shooting and he wouldn’t play anyone from the bench that’s considered a shooter.

Edit: he was fired. Not mutual parting of ways. Apparently we paid his $5M buyout.

Who should Maryland hire next?

WSR: Hire Brad Stevens. [Indiana and Purdue fans started shouting in a thread. You know how that goes.]

GA: DJ, what would your shortlist look like?

BoilerUp: Not DJ, and I’m sure there are guys more regional that Maryland should target. But two guys I like that are in line for a promotion: Dennis Gates at Cleveland State, Pat Kelsey at Charleston.

DJ: Go big first: [Alabama HC Nate] Oats, [Arkansas HC Eric] Musselman, [Nets AC David] Vanterpool (not realistic, prob gets NBA job next year). Rothstein hit it well. “Top 10-15 job in CBB because of location and recruiting base. LONG LINE for this job.”

I like [first-year Utah State HC and former UMBC HC] Ryan Odom if we are going to try and grab an up and coming coach to bet on.

BoilerUp: Oats and Musselman already got paid. Odom would be good.

DJ: It should be the top job this year and it helps that we are breaking ground on a new practice facility.


Who should Maryland hire next?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Oats, if he’s answering the call
    (106 votes)
  • 6%
    Musselman, if he’s answering the call
    (13 votes)
  • 2%
    Vanterpool, if he’s answering the call
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Dennis Gates (Cleveland State)
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    Pat Kelsey (Charleston)
    (5 votes)
  • 20%
    Ryan Odom (Utah State, UMBC)
    (42 votes)
  • 15%
    Someone else (tell us in the comments)
    (32 votes)
207 votes total Vote Now

Any other Big Ten coaches in line?

For some reason, this then got hurtful:

BoilerUp: Northwestern could also open this year. That’s the real top job of the year.

GA: If it does, though, it’ll turn out that making the tourney once isn’t the lifetime meal ticket I think most of us thought it would be there.

misdreavus: I mean, in fairness, there’s a difference between “making the tournament once” and “making the tournament once then nosediving to the depths of the earth.”

Like, has Northwestern had a winning season since then? [ed. note: No, and I won’t be taking any more questions on the subject.]

BoilerUp: Yeah, if Northwestern was still making the NIT every once in a while since then...


Who’s next (non-retirement category)?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    Chris Collins (Northwestern)
    (92 votes)
  • 10%
    Brad Underwood (Illinois)
    (14 votes)
  • 24%
    Literally anyone else
    (34 votes)
140 votes total Vote Now

Final Thoughts

BoilerUp: Surprised by the timing, but sounds like Turgeon pushed this happening as much as anything.

DJ: Turgeon looked like he was on the verge of quitting all year. He kept sitting for long stretches of the game while Manning was coaching the team. I was losing it during the Louisville game when you could see the game was starting to tilt and he is just sitting there lounged in his chair, arms crossed like he couldn’t be bothered to try.


Mark Turgeon’s departure...

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    ...was premature. Guy just won the Big Ten two years ago in a COVID-shortened season.
    (20 votes)
  • 41%
    ...was probably inevitable, but midseason is a bad idea.
    (121 votes)
  • 51%
    ...was long-overdue, and mid-season is fine if that’s what’s needed.
    (152 votes)
293 votes total Vote Now