Turgeonites Bring Next-Level Dedication to Fandomby Liam Farrell | photos by Greg Fiume
A group that started when an undergraduate wanted to wear his suit more often and drum up support for a new coach might not seem destined to live very long. But never underestimate the passion of Terp fans.
This basketball season is the fifth for the “Turgeonites,” the half-dozen or so students who dress in suits and powder their hair for home games in honor of UMD men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon.
There’s no initiation process to joining, but the group of friends and acquaintances commit to attend each home game. They wave signs, try to pump up the crowd and once even performed (somewhat successfully) on the court with the Maryland dance team. They’ve met Turgeon on several occasions, although they aren’t calling each other before games to synchronize wardrobes.
Despite the Jumbotron attention and a road trip to the Big Ten tournament in Chicago last year, wearing a suit is apparently a college student’s best disguise.
“As soon as we take our suits off, no one knows who we are,” says graduate student Nick Riddlesberger ’15, this year’s lead Turgeonite. “We’re just a small part of a huge, awesome fan base.”
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