Denver Names Jim Turgeon Head Women’s Basketball Coach

Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation and RC Operations, Peg Bradley-Doppes announced Tuesday the hiring of Jim Turgeon, the 10th women’s head basketball coach for the University of Denver.

“Our search was truly nation-wide and our pool of candidates was nothing short of incredible,” Bradley-Doppes said. “I want to thank the search committee for all the work they put into this. As we went through this process it was reaffirming how wonderful things are going at the University of Denver. Coaches and staff want to be part of this place and all take great pride being part of the University of Denver family.

“We were striving to find someone with a strong sense of community and someone who would be a strong cultural fit for the University of Denver and we found that person in Jim Turgeon. Jim’s win-loss record is spectacular and he has always done it with great integrity and class. He has overachieved everywhere he has been. He is a passionate teacher of the game of basketball who embraces everything that the University of Denver stands for.”

Turgeon comes to the Pioneers from Colorado State University-Pueblo, where he spent the last two seasons amassing an impressive 54-10 record for an .843 winning percentage – the highest by any coach in school history. Under his leadership, the Thunderwolves competed in their sixth straight tournament championship game, a conference record.

“His ability to recruit in Colorado is special, but due to his years of experience, he has also built up a very sophisticated network and international recruiting pipeline,” Bradley-Doppes added. “Jim understands the value we place on the student-athlete experience and that athletics should enhance the brand of the university on a national level. I could not be more pleased to welcome Jim, Tracey, Tommy and Taylor into the University of Denver family, but even more than that, we welcome his extended family – all of his former players and coaches and his vast network to the University of Denver.”

Turgeon’s squad set a program record with 28 wins in 2016-17, including a record-breaking 24 consecutive wins to start the season, earning Turgeon accolades as the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Coach of the Year.

With Turgeon at the helm, the Thunderwolves won their first outright regular-season RMAC Championship since the 1987-88 season as well as their first ever Division II regular-season title this past year. To go along with his RMAC Coach of the Year honor, Turgeon was also a finalist for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) National Coach of the Year award.

Turgeon guided his team to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament in 2015-16, setting a then-school record for the highest seed in school history only to be broken this past season when the Thunderwolves earned a No. 1 seed in the tournament.

During his time at CSU-Pueblo, Turgeon molded many players who earned all-conference accolades including a player of the year, a tournament MVP, a defensive player of the year, a freshman of the year honoree, as well as five first-team and one second-team all-conference athletes as well as one honorable mention conference athlete. Additionally, Turgeon’s team claimed 13 RMAC Player of the Week honors, including six by one athlete alone in the 2016-17 season, more than any team in the conference had throughout the year.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to be the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Denver,” said Turgeon. “I’m honored by the confidence that Peg Bradley-Doppes has in me to lead this program. I was blown away the athletic administration’s vision for not only the women’s basketball program but the entire University of Denver Division of Athletics.”

Prior to his time at CSU-Pueblo, Turgeon spent eight seasons as the head coach at Iowa Western Community College where he claimed the title of all-time wins leader, collecting a record of 191-65. While at Iowa Western, Turgeon led the Reivers to three Region VI titles, one District K championship as well as one appearance in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament. Turgeon’s squad was ranked in the top 25 in five out of the eight seasons he coached, breaking into the top five in three of those seasons.

Along with his successful record at Iowa Western, Turgeon led his team to the longest winning streak at 20 games as well as the longest home winning streak at 34 games in program history. In his last five years at the helm of the program, Turgeon compiled a home record of 80-8 (.909).

Iowa Western broke many records with Turgeon as head coach, including 28 individual and team records.

Before his time with Iowa Western, Turgeon was the head coach at Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kan.

Denver’s new head coach graduated from Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., where he studied physical education with an emphasis in sports facilities management.

Photo Courtesy Denver Athletics

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