Mark Turgeon
Head Men's Basketball Coach (Third Season)
[email protected]

As a coach and a former collegiate player third-year Head Coach Mark Turgeon has a lot to sell - a college career with three Final Four rings, a national championship ring, coaching experience in a Final Four, the NBA, and coaching lines that extend all the way to the beginning of the game.

Already that experience and bloodline has helped him the past three years in securing the most diverse and talented recruiting classes to move into the Shocker family in some time.

That talent has begun to show itself as Wichita State's 15 overall wins in 2001-02 marked the most since the 1997-98 season, while the Shockers' 11-3 record in Levitt Arena, and eight regular-season Valley wins, were worth noting.

In addition, freshman Randy Burns was WSU's leading scorer in all-game stats at 12.1 ppg., and was the first freshman to lead WSU in scoring for a full season since 1993-94.

And those facts have only reinforced the comments WSU Director of Athletics Jim Schaus said when Turgeon became WSU's 25th basketball coach in March, 2000.

"Mark is one of the brightest young stars in college coaching today," Schaus said. "I'm not sure people understand what we're getting. He's fantastic. He's a winner, and he will bring winning back to Wichita State basketball. I am so confident and excited about the future of this program."

Turgeon, 37, came to WSU from Jacksonville State, where he coached his team from a 8-18 record in 1998-99 to a 17-11 overall record in 1999-00. Turgeon also coached the Gamecocks to a 12-6 record and a tie for third-place in the Trans America Conference with Samford that year.

"I'm proud to be a Shocker, and it's a happy day for Mark Turgeon and my family," Turgeon said at his hiring. "I left Kansas eight years ago and I've been fighting my way back ever since.

"I love the State of Kansas and I love the enthusiasm it has for basketball. When you have 9,500 people in the stands for the last game and the team's in ninth-place, that says a lot about the passion of basketball fans here, and that excites me."

No stranger to large crowds and the passion of basketball fans in the state, he played collegiately at Kansas from 1984-87, dishing out assists with regularity during a brilliant four-year career for head coach Larry Brown.

A native of Topeka, Kan., Turgeon led Hayden High School (HHS) to back-to-back Class 4A state championships in 1982 and 1983, earning all-State Tournament team honors each year. A first-team all-State performer as a senior, he helped HHS to a 47-3 record during his career.

"We're going to play hard, we're going to play smart, and we're going to play together," Turgeon said. "Basketball is the best team game there is, and I love it when your team has 28 baskets and 21 or 22 assists.

While at Kansas, Turgeon became the first player in Jayhawk history to ever play in four consecutive NCAA Tournaments. He was twice selected as team captain (1986 and '87), was a Big Eight all-Academic performer (1986), a member of the 1986 team that made it to the Final Four and won the Big Eight Conference regular season and tournament championships, and was selected to the 1984 Big Eight all-Freshman team. During his career, Kansas posted a record of 108-33.

After graduating with a B.S. Degree in Personnel Administration in 1987, Turgeon remained with the Jayhawk program as an assistant to Larry Brown, helping Kansas to the 1988 National Championship. When Roy Williams took over the helm of the program in 1988, Turgeon remained on the staff, serving as head coach of the Junior Varsity team for four years, in addition to his regular assistant coaching duties. During his tenure as an assistant coach, Kansas won back-to-back Big Eight Conference Championships (1991 & 1992), was NCAA runner-up (1991) and captured the Big Eight Tournament (1992).

In April of 1992, Turgeon left Kansas to join newly appointed and former KU assistant Jerry Green as his top assistant at Oregon. Faced with a program that had not posted three consecutive winning seasons in the previous 20 years, Green and Turgeon wasted little time righting the ship.

During Turgeon's five years as an assistant, the Ducks went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 34 years, played in the 1997 NIT, and helped Oregon to three consecutive winning seasons. Oregon's 1995 recruiting class - with Turgeon serving as the recruiting coordinator- was ranked 35th best in the country, while he signed two of the Top 100 players in the country in 1996.

Green left for the head coaching position at the University of Tennessee in 1997, and Turgeon returned to work for Larry Brown as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers until becoming JSU's fourth head coach in March, 1998.

Turgeon is married to the former Ann Fowler of Chicago, Ill., and they have a son, William Harris.