by Charles Rich
Mark Turgeon will be introduced as the new Head Basketball Coach at Texas A&M today. He has, effectively an eight year contract with A&M. It's five-years with an automatic three year roll over and will be paying $1.2 million per year. At Wichita State, Turgeon was making around $750,000 so this was a 60% salary jump with a long term commitment. That's hard to resist.
Turgeon didn't. The official word and press conference will be this afternoon. He already went back to Wichita State to tell the players and his now former Athletic Director face-to-face.
Monday night, Turgeon and WSU athletic director Jim Schaus met with players in the Koch Arena locker room. Three players -- Phil Thomasson, Sean Ogirri and Matt Braeuer -- confirmed that Turgeon told them he was headed to A&M.
"We're happy for him," said Thomasson, a senior next season. "We're going to stick together and we're going to get a real good coach in here.
"Jim talked to us. He's going to work hard for us. I'm sure it will go quick."
It's a little thing, but these days with coaches and hirings, it's become a rare thing. Turgeon made the respectable and classier decision to go back to his old team to say good bye first -- before the press conference, cheers and smiles at the new school. Yeah, everyone already knew he had the offer and the reports said he was going, but he still went and told them directly. And yeah, kind of sad that it seems worth pointing out that a coach at least chose to say goodbye to the school and players that helped put him in the position to say hello to the bigger school and pay day.
Previously at Fanhouse:
The Intrigue at College Station
Maybe Mark Turgeon for Texas A&M