Posted on: April 6, 2010 3:00 am
Edited on: April 6, 2010 3:36 am
INDIANAPOLIS -- DePaul's coaching search ended early Tuesday when Clemson's Oliver Purnell agreed to take the Big East job, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com.
An official announcement is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday.
Purnell has led three different schools to NCAA tournaments -- including Clemson each of the past three seasons -- but is best known for never winning an NCAA tournament game. He's 0-6 all-time in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers lost to Missouri in the first round last March.
DePaul fired Jerry Wainwright in January.
Posted on: July 16, 2009 5:19 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2009 5:20 pm
Clemson's Oliver Purnell has scheduled a fundraiser for the second consecutive year to benefit Coaches vs. Cancer.
It's called "Oliver and Vicky Purnell's Tigerfest 09."
It'll be Oct. 6 in Clemson.
"Vicky and I are committed to doing everything we can to wipe out cancer in our lifetimes," Purnell said. "We are thrilled that with the help of the extended Clemson family, we can do our part."
Purnell donated $100,000 to Coaches vs. Cancer last season.
Click this link for more information.
Posted on: January 17, 2009 9:03 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2009 9:59 pm
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Oliver and Vicky Purnell presented a $100,000 check to Coaches vs. Cancer before Saturday's Wake Forest-Clemson game. About 90 minutes later, NCAA president Myles Brand announced he has pancreatic cancer, and though the developments were unrelated it was difficult not to connect the two, because what we had was one man (Purnell) making a donation to an organization designed to help people like the other man (Brand).
Problem is, we're still years away from being able to significantly help people like the other man.
Which is precisely why Purnell made the donation.
"We've had people in our family who have fallen prey to cancer," Purnell said. "Both my grandparents, Vicky's aunt."
Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Seems like we've all had a grandparent or aunt or brother or friend who has fallen prey to cancer, and though there is sometimes an explanation (if you smoke, you can get lung cancer, and that's easy to understand) other times it makes no sense, which brings me back to Brand, who was by most accounts a relatively healthy man until this diagnosis was made earlier this month.
To be clear, I'm not a doctor.
But I've read enough Patrick Swayze stories to know pancreatic cancer is widely considered to be the worst possible cancer a person can get. It's fast and relentless and terrifying. And that's why Saturday's news was startling, not because a 66-year-old man has cancer, but because a man who has greatly altered the scope of the NCAA has a disease that statistically does not allow its victims to live years (or, in some cases, even weeks) after being diagnosed.
In other words, last month Myles Brand was looking forward to a long rest of his life.
Now, who knows?
So here's hoping Purnell's $100,000 check makes a difference in the fight against cancer, and that one day people like Brand don't have to endure the certain fear that comes with a diagnosis like the one that has shaken the NCAA.
Posted on: September 18, 2008 1:30 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2008 1:43 pm
Oliver Purnell will be at Stephen Decatur High in Maryland on Friday, but not to recruit. Instead he'll have his No. 22 jersey retired, the one he wore when he helped the Seahawks to the 1970 state basketball championship.
Since then, Purnell has gone on to be a 1,000-point scorer at Old Dominion and a successful head coach at Radford, Old Dominion, Dayton and Clemson. He was inducted into the ODU Hall of Fame in 1988. So the man has had a storied career, which is why I couldn't help but wonder why it took Stephen Decatur High so long to honor him.
Naturally, I went to Wikipedia to learn more about the school.
I was curious if there were like a ton of famous graduates or something else that might make the criteria to be honored a little tougher at Stephen Decatur High. But when I looked all I found was a writer for The OC and an indoor soccer player. That's what Stephen Decatur High has produced. So I'm thinking Purnell should've been honored like 30 years ago, at least. But whatever. He'll have his jersey retired at halftime of Friday night's game. Better late than never.
In a related note, I still haven't made Wikipedia's list of "Famous Residents" from Horn Lake, Miss.
This is devastating on many levels.
I don't want this to come off the wrong way, but in terms of Horn Lake High graduates I am pretty freaking unbelievable. Still, I've never been honored (even though I've asked the principal to retire my baseball jersey several times) and can't even get recognized by Wikipedia as one of the town's "Famous Residents." Brandon Jackson, back-up running back for the Green Bay Packers, is listed, and I'm OK with that. But the third famous resident is Donnie Newman, who is (according to Wikipedia) "one of the most respected band directors in the country and the director of the Horn Lake High School band, which is among the top 10 bands in the entire state of Mississippi."
And since when does having a top 10 band in the state of Mississippi count for anything?
Anyway, Oliver Purnell is being honored by his high school.
Good for him.
We should all be so lucky.
(And by all, I mean me.)
Posted on: August 14, 2008 2:30 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2008 2:33 pm
Milton Jennings, the subject of my latest column, didn't play serious organized basketball until eighth grade.
That's what you call a late start in this era of this sport.
But Oliver Purnell still had Jennings pegged early.
"Oliver told me when Milt was in the ninth grade that he didn't care what time of year it was or where it was, from that point forward he'd be wherever Milt was at on the first day of every recruiting period when coaches are allowed gyms," recalled Jennings' AAU coach, Rufus McDonald. "Oliver said he didn't care if it was 2006, 2007 or 2008 or what senior was coming out that particular year, he'd always open the period in whatever gym Milt was at. And guess what? Every recruiting period, Oliver opened in the gym with Milt. He kept his word and did a beautiful job recruiting him."
That's one of the stories I picked up while working on the column that didn't make the actual column. I'm sharing it here because it shows the importance of identifying priorities early and highlights how silly the notion of waiting to recruit kids until their junior or senior years can be. Anybody who waited that long to get on Jennings strarted well behind Clemson, thanks to Purnell and assistant Frank Smith. And because the Tigers worked so hard so early and they now have a commitment from a prospect who will likely become the school's first McDonald's All-American in 18 years.