We haven't heard much from Mark Turgeon since Maryland tabbed him to replace Gary Williams as the school's men's basketball coach. But in an interview with ESPN's Scott Van Pelt on Tuesday, Turgeon said that he left Texas A&M because coaching at Maryland would give him the best chance to reach the Final Four.
"I felt knowing what I know about college basketball that it was a top-10 or 15 job in the country or potentially better with so many players in the area," Turgeon told Van Pelt, a Maryland grad. "It’s just a great area for basketball players and if you work hard enough, you got kids to get to the highest level, being a former player at Kansas and playing at the highest level and being a part of Final Fours. It was something I really want to be a part of again. Maryland gives me the best chance to do that.”
Turgeon said two of his mentors, North Carolina coach Roy Williams and former NBA coaching vagabond Larry Brown, steered him toward Maryland after he was contacted about the gig.
“A lot of people had a role in this thing," Turgeon said. "I think I first heard on Thursday morning that Gary was going to be stepping down and a guy called me and asked, would I be interested? It kind of got my juices flowing a little bit knowing I might not be their first choice at the time and so I thought about it. Roy Williams, Larry Brown, guys that were big mentors for me were just adamant about Maryland and this job."
We'll hear more from Turgeon on Wednesday afternoon at his introductory press conference in College Park.