DePaul coach Oliver Purnell resigns after five seasons

Oliver Purnell has resigned as DePaul head coach, the school announced Saturday. Purnell, who coached the Blue Demons for five seasons, posted a 12-20 record, including a 6-12 mark in the Big East.

Photo: DePaul Athletics
Photo: DePaul Athletics

Purnell finishes his tenure at DePaul with a 54-105 overall record.

“It is my best interest and my family’s best interest to resign as head coach of the DePaul basketball program,” Purnell said in a release. “We made progress here and improved with the talent and character of our student-athletes. DePaul provided complete support and is fully committed to its basketball program with its budget, the on-campus facilities and in the future with the new events center. I would like to personally thank the University community, fans and student body for their support and thank the student-athletes for their efforts over the last five years.”

Purnell made his career by rebuilding struggling programs. He took Old Dominion, Dayton and Clemson to the NCAA Tournament. He also led Radford to 22 wins in the 1990-91 season.

Purnell seemed to have the program reenergized earlier this season with a 5-2 start in Big East play, but the Blue Demons then lost 11 of 12 games, including their eight contests.

“We would like to thank Oliver for his time at DePaul,” athletics director Jean Lenti Ponsetto. “He moved the program forward with the building of the roster and we wish him and his family well in the future. We are grateful to Coach Purnell for turning a corner in DePaul recruiting. We are clearly a stronger program because of his leadership. As we now turn to a search for a new coach, we do so gratefully for what he contributed these past five years.”

DePaul has already started a national search for its next head coach.

Author: Jesse Kramer

Jesse Kramer is the founder of The Catch and Shoot. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He has had work featured on SI.com, College Insider, The Comeback/Awful Announcing, and 247Sports.

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