Purnell leaves for DePaul


David Kaplan is reporting that Oliver Purnell has been on campus at DePaul this evening and has hired him away from Clemson with a deal worth a reported $2.5 million per year.

I have learned that DePaul has hired Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell and has agreed to a 7 year contract with him in excess of 15 million dollars when you add in the buyout of his Clemson contract. He was on campus today and and will be introduced in a press conference at 1:30 Tuesday on DePaul's campus.

Purnell has been the head coach at Clemson since 2003 and while he has made Clemson competitive and has taken them to the NCAA Tournament 3 times, he is 0-6 in his career in NCAA games. He has no ties to the Chicago area and the jury is out on whether or not he can recruit players from this area to rebuild a program that was 1-35 the past two seasons in Big East play.

 Via Greg Wallace earlier this evening.

Three Chicago sources - WeAreDePaul.com, an independent Internet site affiliated with the Scout.com network, ChicagoNow.com and WBBM-TV, Chicago's CBS affiliate - reported that Clemson coach Oliver Purnell was on DePaul's Chicago campus Monday, where he met with members of the Blue Devils' administration about their vacant men's basketball job. WeAreDePaul.com reported that DePaul has "zeroed in" on Purnell, who has spent the past seven years at Clemson, recording a 138-90 record, including 20-win campaigns the last four years and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
Clemson finished the season with an 86-78 NCAA Tournament loss to Missouri, its third first-round loss in as many years.

Much too late for me to have much reaction, but it is surprising nonetheless. Perhaps OP agrees with those who said he plateaued here, but Clemson's AD was giving him the new practice facility as far as our sources have said. I'd go get Stevens from Butler in a heartbeat if I were TDP. However at this hour I'm just as sleepy as he is 24/7.

Edit: Greg Wallace amends his story, Purnell gone.

Morning Edit: An interesting note from Larry Williams

-- Late last night, Purnell informed TDP he was leaving. We believe Purnell allowed for a counteroffer, but apparently that counteroffer did not come close to what DePaul offered him ($2 million plus). We believe that whatever counteroffer Clemson presented Purnell came after Clemson ran cost-of-living comparisons between Clemson and Chicago, and then arrived at a figure it deemed competitive with DePaul's.

-- Even though Purnell was happy that the administration was meeting his demands regarding the practice facility, we do think he had grown tired of some other aspects of dealing with the higher-ups at Clemson. He had told people close to him that the only way to get things done here was to apply leverage in the form of talks with other schools. Even before his departure to DePaul, he had not been shy about listening to potential suitors. We think his talks with Georgia last year were more serious than was let on. He was also close to leaving for LSU several years ago. Maybe the money DePaul was offering, coupled with the rich recruiting base in the Chicago area, presented enough motivation for him to leave this time.

-- Purnell is reasonable, good-natured and far from the most thin-skinned coach we've come across. But we do think the criticism he faced for the one-and-done NCAA Tournament futility bothered him. It wasn't long ago that simply getting to the NCAA Tournament was a major feat, and we're not sure Purnell felt totally embraced by the folks here

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