Clemson Coach Purnell Moves On - DatelineCarolina

Clemson Basketball Coach Oliver Purnell Moves On

Depaul has found itself at the bottom of the Big East in recent years. Depaul has found itself at the bottom of the Big East in recent years.

By Ed Cahill

Posted April 7, 10:39 a.m.

Clemson head basketball coach Oliver Purnell is leaving after seven seasons to take over as head of Depaul's struggling program.

"It's a super job," Purnell says, "They are very, very committed to restoring a tradition."

Depaul signed Purnell to a seven year contract that reports say will pay him well over the $1.6 million he was making at Clemson.

Purnell tallied a 138-88 record during his tenure with the Tigers, and he took the team to the NCAA tournament for the past three seasons.  Purnell coached at Radford, Old Dominion, and Dayton before coming to Clemson.

Purnell told Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips of his decision and left for Chicago without speaking to his players.  Phillips says he was as surprised as everyone else.

"I'm not sure I know what to say," Phillips said. "I'm in a little bit of shock. ... I'm as surprised as anyone."

Purnell had six years left on his contract.  Phillips says he is starting a search for Purnell's replacement immediately.  Among the names already being tossed about is that of former Winthrop coach Gregg Marshall.

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