Oliver Purnell is officially the former head basketball coach at Clemson. He was formally introduced as the new head coach at DePaul this afternoon. Purnell spent seven seasons on the Tigers bench and led the program to three straight NCAA tournaments.
Oliver Purnell introductory news conference at DePaul
Now that the Purnell era at Clemson is over, where does he stack up among the all-time best Tiger hoops coaches? The one big knock on him will be that he never won an NCAA tournament game. However, it must be pointed out he had the best four year run in school history (20 plus wins in each of the past four seasons, back to back winning records in ACC play) and has the program considered among the top 25 best year in and year out.
I am going to put him third on my list, behind Cliff Ellis and Rick Barnes. Those two get the edge because of their postseason success.
There will always be some fans upset with a coach when he bolts for another school. It is the natural reaction. However, anytime a coach leaves the program in better shape than when he took it over he has to be considered a good hire. There is no doubt Purnell was a great fit at Clemson and he is leaving a solid program for whoever takes over next season.