Mark Turgeon making friends in Baltimore
With players to meet, a coaching staff to assemble and a recruiting class to save, Maryland men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon has plenty to do during his first week on the job.
On Friday morning, College Park’s busiest man took some time out of his hectic schedule and made an impromptu drive up I-95 for a meet and greet with Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Baltimore’s city council president.
“[Maryland assistant] coach Bino [Ranson], he texted me and said the new coach wants to come in and meet you and talk to you. He wanted to meet all the leadership of Baltimore,” Young said Friday. “He came here today, spent about 45 minutes in my office. I had somewhere to go and I’m quite sure he had other people to meet. We just talked about basketball, expectations of kids who come from Baltimore [and then go to] Maryland. I found him to be a very likeable person, a straight shooter. I like people who are straight shooters. I look forward to working with him and helping him be successful here in Maryland.”
A diehard basketball fan and champion of the city’s Recreation and Parks department, Young said his first impression of Turgeon “was just amazing.” There was plenty of talk about basketball players staying in school and earning their degrees. And there was some good-natured chiding from Young, a Ravens fan, related to Turgeon’s Kansas City Chiefs.
Young said they didn’t discuss specific high school players from Baltimore – which would include City shooting guard Nick Faust, whose signing Young attended and who the city council president considers a “surrogate” nephew. But Young did share his feelings with Turgeon about where he’d like to see Charm City’s top talent end up in college.
“I told him how Baltimore is a hotbed of talent and we prefer our kids to really stay in the state of Maryland,” Young said. “I shared with him [information] on the Towsons, the Coppins, the Morgans, Loyola and Maryland. We would prefer if our kids stay here locally to build up our own programs to be nationally ranked.”
Young said Turgeon hopes to meet with other Baltimore leaders, including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The new Terps coach already has one prominent ally in the city’s political circle.
“What can you say about a man who wants to reach out to the leadership in Baltimore? That says a lot about the coach,” Young said. “He said some things that made me know that he’s going to be a great coach at Maryland. We just have to make sure the talent from Baltimore looks at Maryland.”
Handout photo of Bino Ranson, Jack Young and Mark Turgeon.