Mark Turgeon was formally introduced as Maryland basketball's new head coach in a press conference in College Park on Wednesday. Turgeon called Maryland a "special job" and said that he has the blessing of outgoing coach Gary Williams.
"It was going to take a great job for me to move," Turgeon said. "I've turned down a lot of jobs. It was going to take a special one to move my family, and that's why I'm here."
Turgeon said he had a conversation with Gary Williams prior to this press conference, and while he would not reveal the details of the conversation, he said he left knowing Williams supported him and has his back.
"Gary's been a big ally for me," Turgeon said. "He'll help me tremendously."
Turgeon said it's "been a crazy 48 hours" for him, and it all started Sunday morning. He said he had first heard about the Maryland job opening on Thursday, but had a camping trip planned over the weekend. He got cell phone service back on Sunday, and an hour and a half later, athletic director Kevin Anderson called to try to schedule a meeting. They met in Pittsburgh, where Turgeon was on vacation, and he met in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Anderson offered him the job, and he made his decision the next day.
"What helped me make my decision that he was the guy is he looked me in the eye and said, 'Kevin, I hate to lose,'" Anderson said. "He'll be able to look down at that sidelines at their opponent and say, 'I'm going to kick their ass.'
Turgeon said he feels comfortable with his recruiting ties in the area, and his goal is to keep all three incoming recruits, as well as build up the confidence of the current players. He said that he will finalize his staff in the coming days, hinting at the possibility of some of his old Texas A&M coaches coming with him.
"I do think Gary and I are really similar. We wear our emotions on our sleeves, though he wore them a little more. But I don't want to watch a lot of film from last year and judge them on how they're playing. I want to judge them on how I'd coach them," he said.