Sun Investigates

University of Maryland basketball coach Mark Turgeon highest-paid state employee

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon directing players in victory over Wisconsin. Turgeon earned his top-paid salary that night in February.

Mark Turgeon’s team at the University of Maryland never made it into the Top 25 this season and missed out entirely on March Madness, but the men’s basketball coach made it to No. 1 among the state’s highest-paid employees in 2017.

Turgeon, who has five years left on his contract, earned $2.72 million to leap into the top spot, according to the state salary database released this week. That perch was occupied for several years by former Maryland football coach Randy Edsall, who was fired in 2015 but remained in the top spot in 2016.


Edsall’s successor, DJ Durkin, ranked second among state employees with $2.49 million in income last year. Durkin is in the third year of the five-year contract he signed when he took over the football program.

Maryland women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese was the third highest-paid state employee in 2017. She earned $1.18 million after 16 seasons that include leading the school’s team to the NCAA Final Four three times and a championship in 2006.


Two leaders of the university’s medical system rounded out the top five highest-paid employees. Stephen Bartlett earned $951,000 for overseeing the surgical teams at all 12 hospitals in the University of Maryland Medical System. And Jay Perman earned $945,000 as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland’s only public health, law and human services university.

The Top 50 earners in the state all work within the University System of Maryland. The system’s $1.85 billion payroll for its 25,000 employees was the largest in the state.

The university system was followed by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, which pays its nearly 11,000 employees a total of $568 million. Dr. Sharon Baucom, the department’s chief medical director, was the highest paid at $242,000.

The agency with the third highest payroll is the Department of Health. Dr. Sherri Passarell led the agency’s 9,300 employees with $459,000 in earnings. Passarell is a physician at the Thomas B. Finan Center, a psychiatric facility operating 88 beds in Allegany County.

The Maryland State Police ranked first among all state agencies in average overtime paid to its employees and the most overtime paid to a single individual. The department’s 2,385 employees earned an average of $11,487 in overtime; Trooper Dale Smith earned $115,000, on top of a base salary of $92,000.

State police confirmed the overtime. A spokeswoman said the department allows troopers to provide “security operations, traffic enforcement, traffic management working oversize/overweight vehicle escorts, traffic control, K-9 operations” and other services.

The department is “reimbursed for personnel assigned to work these requests as secondary employment,” spokeswoman Elena Russo said.

Top 10 earners in 2017


1. Mark Turgeon, University of Maryland men’s basketball coach, $2,720,000

2. Daniel Durkin, University of Maryland football coach, $2,494,000

3. Brenda Frese, University of Maryland women’s basketball coach, $1,180,000

4. Dr. Stephen Bartlett, University of Maryland Medical System chief medical officer and executive vice president, $951,000

5. Dr. Jay Perman, University of Maryland, Baltimore president, $945,000

6. Dr. E. Albert Reece, University of Maryland, Baltimore executive vice president for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, $834,000


7. Dr. John Olson, University of Maryland Medical System, division head, general and oncologic surgery, $770,000

8. Dr. Joseph Friedberg, University of Maryland Medical System, division head, thoracic surgery, $737,000

9. Dr. James Gammie, University of Maryland Medical System, division head, cardiac surgery, $733,000

10. Dr. Bartley Griffith, University of Maryland Medical System, director of the cardiac and lung transplant programs, $720,000