Monday, April 09, 2007

A Quick Look at Coach Turgeon

Getting to know Mark Turgeon

OK Guys, I know most of you are probably asking all of the same questions this morning:

-Who is Mark Turgeon?
-Is this the only guy Byrne could find?
-What happened to Dixon, Floyd, or Kruger?
-etc. etc. etc.

First off I am not going to get wrapped up in what went on behind the scenes with Bill Byrne and the athletic department and what went into this decision.

There are a ton of rumors flying around out there about both Byrne and Gillispie and John Lopez appears to have poured gasoline on the fire with a very interesting take on it this morning on his blog at

Personally, I found Richard Justice’s piece on Friday to sum it up better than anyone else.

OK – Back to Turgeon. I am not going to pretend that I am a journalist who can scoop a story nor am I going to pretend that I am a message-board hero that has “connections” or “Inside sources” or any of that good stuff. I am just a guy with a huge passion for Aggie Basketball and I love having these conversation and sharing that with you guys.

That being said – let me tell you what I have been able to piece together about Mark Turgeon.

He played his college basketball at Kansas from 1983 to 1987 under Larry Brown. In his playing days at Kansas, he was the first player in the history of KU basketball to ever play in the NCAA tournament for 4 consecutive seasons. In 1986 and 1987 he was elected as a team captain and the team in 1986 made it all the way to the Final Four.

In 1987 he took a job as an assistant on Brown’s staff where they went on to win the national championship that season. It should also be pointed out that the Jayhawks made it to the national championship game in 1991 under Williams while Turgeon was on the staff. He was an assistant under both Brown and Roy Williams at Kansas until 1992.

From 1992 until 1997 he was an assistant coach at Oregon for former KU assistant Jerry Green. Green and Turgeon helped turn around the Oregon program and led them to their first NCAA appearance in 34 years. Wile serving as the recruiting coordinator for Oregon he helped sign two top-100 kids during the 1996 season.

During the 1997-1998 season Turgeon served as an assistant on Larry Brown’s staff with the Phiadelphia 76ers in the NBA.

His first head coaching opportunity came in 1998 when he took over at Jacksonville State. His first season saw the Gamecocks go 8-18, but they improved to 17-11 in his second year during the 1999-2000 season.

After spending two years on the sidelines in Jacksonville he took over at Wichita State beginning with the 2000-2001 season.

In each of his first 6 years leading the Shockers he saw his team’s win totals improve over the previous season.

His 7th season at Wichita State saw them get off to a great start before falling flat while playing through their Missouri Valley conference slate but did see them post impressive road wins at then #6 LSU and #14 Syracuse.

The 2005-2006 season was far and away the most successful season in both Turgeon’s career as well as for the WSU program. That season they posted a 26-9 overall record and made a run all the way to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament before falling to eventual Final Four team George Mason. In order to get to the Sweet 16, they knocked off #2 seed Tennessee in the 2nd round.

A couple of things that stand out from most everything you read about Turgeon talk about what a tireless worker he is and what a stand-up guy he is as well. He also has some impressive hardware to show off by having three Final Four rings and a National Championship ring as well.

Turgeon was a candidate for the KU job in 2003 when they hired Bill Self and was offered the OU job last season before turning down the offer from the Sooners.

My sense is that this is going to be a good hire. If he can hang on to his current guys and get DeAndre Jordan and the 2007-2008 recruiting class to campus in tact I think we could see the momentum built by Gillispie continue into the next few years. I hope this helps give you guys a little more insight into Coach Turgeon.

Turgeon Through the years:

1983-1984 Kansas 22-10 NCAA Regional
1984-1985 Kansas 26-8 NCAA Regional
1985-1986 Kansas 35-4 NCAA Final Four
1986-1987 Kansas 25-11 NCAA Regional

Assistant Coach
1987-1988 Kansas 27-11 National Champions
1988-1989 Kansas 19-12
1989-1990 Kansas 30-5 NCAA Regional
1990-1991 Kansas 27-8 NCAA Runner-Up
1991-1992 Knasas 27-5 NCAA Regional
1992-1993 Oregon 10-20
1993-1994 Oregon 10-17
1994-1995 Oregon 19-9 NCAA First Round
1995-1996 Oregon 16-13
1996-1997 Oregon 17-11 NIT First Round
1997-1998 Philadelphia (NBA) 31-51

Head Coach
1998-1999 Jacksonville 8-18
1999-2000 Jacksonville 17-11
2000-2001 Wichita State 9-19
2001-2002 Wichita State 15-15
2002-2003 Wichita State 18-12 NIT
2003-2004 Wichita State 21-11 NIT
2004-2005 Wichita State 22-10 NIT 3rd Round
2005-2006 Wichita State 26-9 NCAA Sweet 16
2006-2007 Wichita State 17-14


At 4/09/2007 5:32 PM, Anonymous Mr. MiyAggie said...

Why do i feel like we just hired Melvin Watkins all over again??? Why is it in college sports that coaches can't travel to interview at a campus without it being the "he's taking the job" trip? Why couldn't Dixon at least come to campus to see if there is interest there? Why couldn't Rick Majares come see the fine living facilities offered to him at the MSC? Can you imagine Rick Barnes, Bobby Knight, and Rick Majares in the same conference? Since when can writers(i.e. John Lopez and Richard Justice) get away with posting internet "blogs" about the rumors they read on the internet rather than writing a good story with actual people's names rather than "sources close to the situation."? And lastly, has Dollar Bill called(or texted) DeAndre Jordan to ask if he approves of Turgeon?

At 4/10/2007 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After seeing this guy's resume, I feel a bit better especially with the OU offer from last year. Two other things I like are that 1) he addressed his WSU team Monday Night and 2) he called his recruits to encourage them to be patient and wait for his replacement before thinking about changing thier commitments. Sounds like a stand up way to handle tough situations.



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