Last week Maryland chose Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon to replace Gary Williams, who retired after 22 seasons in College Park. It goes without saying that when a major-conference men's basketball program hires a new coach, there's always a good deal of commentary offered up more or less instantly on the alleged quality of that hire. For instance, the piece you're reading right now. But before I add my comments to the discussion, allow me to note that I'm a big believer in listening to what the athletic director says in these situations.
With that in mind, here's what Maryland AD Kevin Anderson said when he announced Turegon's hiring:
"In Mark, we have brought one of the outstanding young coaches in the country, and one who has a proven record of achievement on and off the court. We couldn't be more excited."
Let's consider each of Anderson's claims in order, shall we?
This is generically correct when applied to Turgeon. He is after all a head coach with four seasons at the helm of a Big 12 program under his belt. In addition, Turgeon, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, was named his conference's coach of the year in each of the past two seasons. The Aggies reached the NCAA tournament every season during his tenure. Of course any coach who's going to be seriously considered for a job this good will be "outstanding" relative to his peers. A better question might be whether Turgeon stands out among the coaches accomplished enough to make it on to the Terrapins' short list.