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Maryland's Mark Turgeon wins media's Big Ten Coach of the Year award

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The fourth-year Maryland coach took the Big Ten's highest coaching honor for 2014-15 in a media vote.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

In a split decision, Maryland men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon was named the Big Ten's coach of the year at the conference's postseason honors presentation Monday night.

The league's media selected Turgeon as the Big Ten's best coach, while the coaches voted for Wisconsin's Bo Ryan.

The award caps a resurgent regular season for Turgeon and No. 8 Maryland, which moved earlier in the day to its highest Associated Press ranking since 2002. Under Turgeon, the Terps set a program record for regular-season wins, with 26, and finished second in the conference with a 14-4 record in league play.

"To be in such a great coaches league and to win this honor is tremendous, so I'm excited about that," Turgeon said.

After Maryland stumbled to a 17-15 season and missed postseason play a year ago and then sustained five transfers out of the program, Turgeon's job status became the object of much speculation. He answered resoundingly with results, as the Terps drastically outplayed the 10th-place projection league media gave them in mid-October.

"I knew in June that I had a good team, good pieces," Turgeon said in a conference call just before his award was officially announced. "To go 26-5, 14-4 [in the Big Ten] - I probably wasn't expecting that. I did think we were an NCAA Tournament team. I thought it would be a lot more difficult for us to get in, but I thought we'd be an NCAA Tournament team."

Maryland didn't lose a home game in Big Ten play and managed a 5-4 record on the road, including three straight wins after a three-game road skid in the middle of the conference schedule.

"We became a great home team. Not a good home team – a great home team – and we became a much better road team," Turgeon said.

In addition to Turgeon's Coach of the Year honor, Maryland's Dez Wells (coaches) and Melo Trimble (media) received first-team All-Big Ten placements, while Jake Layman made the media's third team.

"You don't win these honors if you don't have really good players," Turgeon said. "I think it's kind of a statement about the players that I have, too."