Women’s Hoops Coach Jim Turgeon Apparently No Longer at DU

It appears that Jim Turgeon is no longer the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Denver. While DU has not posted a press release detailing Turgeon’s departure or the circumstances related thereto, the school has posted a new job listing for head basketball coach and has removed Turgeon from the DU athletics web site. Our sources would not confirm Turgeon’s departure, nor the cause of his earlier administrative leave since January of 2020, reportedly for what was considered to be insensitive behavior.

While DU has made no comment about the departure, the second sentence in the new head coach job description is interesting, as DU has made clear what kind of behavior it is seeking in a new head coach:

The Head Coach will demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the principles of multiculturalism and diversity through hiring practices, training and development programming, campus collaborations, or involvement and participation in university/divisional multiculturalism and diversity projects or initiatives.   

Turgeon had been the head coach at DU since 2017, where he put together a 42-39 record over his 2.5-year stint. Prior to his arrival, under head coach Kerry Cremeans, the Pioneers suffered through five straight losing seasons, which included single-digit wins in each of their previous four years. Turgeon came to Denver from D-II Colorado State University-Pueblo, where he went 54-10 (.844) in his two seasons there. He is also the all-time wins leader at Iowa Western Community College (191-65 in eight seasons) prior to his stint at CSU-Pueblo.

Turgeon and his entire staff (except for Director Basketball Operations David Pennewell) have now been removed from the women’s basketball roster on DU’s website, as well as in the Pioneers’ athletic staff directory. Turgeon’s top lieutenant, Kayla Ard, recently left DU to assume the head coaching role at Utah State.

6 thoughts on “Women’s Hoops Coach Jim Turgeon Apparently No Longer at DU”

  1. Wish our basketball programs weren’t such a mess. Almost funny how successful and drama free EVERY program has been, except basketball. Not making any big pronouncements as to the value of the basketball programs, just saying how much of an outlier basketball has been in our sports portfolio. First, the lack of winning and inability to compete in dakota conferences. Second…the lack of winning and inability to compete in dakota conferences. Third…the lack of winning, you get the drift. Fourth, that men’s coach a while ago (what his his name) who just stopped showing up for his job. Now another mysterious loss of a coach. How hard can it be to get to mediocrity?

  2. Excellent points. DU has had some pretty good basketball teams over the last 20 years, but you’d never know it, because the good years were never really followed by more good years. The DU women made the NCAA tourney in 2001 but have never made it back to that level. And the DU men have never to the NCAA tourney, ever, although they did win an NIT game in 2013, but not much since.

    There are many theories about why basketball is so hard for DU to crack – tough academics, poor recruiting area, no tradition, little crowd support, uninspiring home conference, diversity concerns, hard scheduling and mediocre coaching are often cited as the culprits, but I believe all of those are possible to overcome if one condition is met and that is money…

    The reason DU is so good in other sports is that DU funds those sports at a very high level for those sports. In basketball, DU is funded to be a contender in the Summit League, but is not yet funded to be a national contender.

  3. The lack of information surrounding Turgeon and his disappearance is odd and unsettling. Whatever the circumstances, hopefully there is a lesson learned and he’ll be a better coach because of it.

    I’ve always hoped (and been optimistic) that the women’s team could turn the corner and build something special. There appear to be a good number of strong HS girls basketball programs in the area, but DU never seems to have a pipeline to those recruits.

  4. With the exception of the Terry Carroll disappearance and the Gwoz debacle, DU never shows their hand in instances like this and nobody in the media or fans care enough to dig deeper.

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