Despite a 2011-2012 campaign that ended with no postseason invitation, Maryland fans overwhelmingly support first-year coach Mark Turgeon. In his first year as coach of the Terrapins, Turgeon showed he has the fiery personality, coaching acumen and leadership qualities necessary to replace a legend like Gary Williams.
But it looks like Kansas saw those same qualities in Turgeon long ago. A footnote in this Grantland article about Kansas basketball reveals that Turgeon interviewed for the Jayhawks job in 2003, vying to replace a different, more famous Williams -- Roy Williams.
Turgeon's love for Kansas is a known fact. It's his alma mater and his home state. But what it means for the Terps is the great unknown. More after the jump.
Full text of the Grantland footnote:
According to a 2003 article by ESPN's Andy Katz, other coaches in the running included Tom Crean, Mike Brey, Mark Few, and Mark Turgeon.
The immediate takeaway that Turgeon interviewed for the Kansas job is that Turgeon has the it factor. Remember, in 2003 Turgeon was still coaching at Wichita State, not at a power conference team like Self (Illinois), Crean (Marquette), or Brey (Notre Dame).
Many have said that Turgeon is a rising star among college basketball coaches. It appears Kansas saw that as early as nine years ago.
Terp fans must deal with the reality, however distant, that it would likely be very hard for Turgeon to say no to Kansas if they ever come calling again. Even if Turgeon completes his vision of returning Maryland to basketball power status, the allure of alma mater may be too much.
Just ask Kansas. In 2003, Roy Williams left the Jayhawks to return to North Carolina and coach his alma mater. That seismic coaching change led to Turgeon's interview, and the eventual hiring of Kansas' current head coach Bill Self.
Self's tenure at Kansas seems quite secure. He's already brought a national title to Lawrence and turned down a very lucrative offer from his alma mater, Oklahoma State. Chances are Self will not leave Kansas anytime soon, but strange things happen.
For Terp fans, losing their coach does not seem like a real worry. For now.