Purnell Named Clemson Head Basketball Coach


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Clemson, SC-Oliver Purnell, who led Dayton to a 24-6 record and a top
four seed in the NCAA Tournament this past season, will be introduced
as Clemson's 21st head basketball coach at a 2:30 PM news conference
in Clemson on Sunday afternoon. Purnell succeeds Larry Shyatt, who
resigned March 17.


Purnell comes to Clemson with 15 years of Division I head
coaching experience at Radford (1988-89 through 1990-91), Old
Dominion (1991-92 through 1993-94), and Dayton (1994-95 through
2002-03). He has a career record of 256-191, including an 88-39
ledger in his most recent four years at Dayton. The 256 victories
rank third in Dayton history. He led the Flyers to at least 21 wins
in each of the last four years, the first time since the late 1960s
that Dayton has had four straight 20-win seasons.

This past season, Dayton had a 24-6 overall record,
including a 14-2 mark in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Seven of the
wins were on the road, the most road wins for the Flyers in 33
years. Purnell's team then won the Atlantic 10 Tournament with a
victory over Temple and Hall of Fame Head Coach John Chaney, 79-72.
The most recent season also included a victory over Marquette, who is
competing in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament this weekend, and
a top 20 Cincinnati team.

The victory total was the most for the Dayton program since
the 1966-67 team won 25 games. The season included a nine-game
winning streak, the longest for the Flyer program since 1989-90 and
the squad finished 16th in the final regular season poll by the
Associated Press. At the conclusion of the season he was named a
finalist for the Naismith Award, which is presented to the National
Coach of the Year.

In addition to his experience as a Division I college coach,
Purnell also has considerable experience as an assistant coach with
USA Basketball. He is one of five USA Basketball coaches in the
history of that competition to win four Gold Medals. He was recently
selected as an assistant coach under Larry Brown on this year's USA
Basketball team, the sixth time in his career he has been selected as
a coach of a USA Basketball team. He would coach in the 2004
Olympics under Brown if the team qualifies.

He was the head coach of the 1999 USA World University Team
and led the squad to an 8-0 record and the Gold Medal in Brisbane,
Australia. He was the recipient of USA Basketball's 1999
Developmental Coach of the Year Award. In 2000, he was appointed by
the National Association of Basketball Coaches and currently serves
as a member of USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee. That
committee is responsible for the selection of collegiate coaches and
players for USA Basketball's teams.

Purnell was named the head coach at the University of Dayton
on April 8, 1994, just the fourth head coach of that program since
1947. He inherited a program that had won just 17 games the previous
four seasons combined. The team was ranked 209th in the Sagarin
rankings in 1994. This year he had the program ranked in the top 20
of the AP poll much of the season.

In 1997-98 Purnell was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year by
the league's coaches and was the NABC District Coach of the year that
same season. It was the third time he was named a conference coach
of the year, the third different conference to honor Purnell. He had
been named Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year at Old
Dominion in 1993 and the Big South Conference Coach of the Year while
at Radford in 1991. He became just the third coach in Division I
history to be a coach of the year in three different Division I
conferences.

Purnell's student-athletes have been successful on and off
the court. In his nine seasons at Dayton, all but two of his
four-year players graduated.

Prior to taking the reins at Dayton, he spent three years as
head coach at Old Dominion, his alma mater. He compiled 57 wins in
those three years and took the program to three postseason
appearances. His team won the CAA Tournament in 1991-92 and advanced
to the NCAA Tournament. In each of his final two seasons at Old
Dominion his teams claimed the CAA regular season championship, won
21 games and advanced to the NIT. Following the 1992-93 campaign he
was honored as the CAA Coach of the Year, the NABC District IV Coach
of the Year and the Coach of the Year in the state of Virginia.

Purnell began his collegiate head coaching career at Radford
in 1988-89. In 1990-91, his third year, he led Radford to a 22-7
record, a 15-game improvement over the previous year. It was the
third largest single season improvement in NCAA history at the time.

Purnell has experience coaching in the ACC. He was an
assistant coach at Maryland from 1985-88. He served as an
assistant coach at Old Dominion from 1978-85. The 1979 Old Dominion
team advanced to the third round of the NIT with a double overtime
victory at Clemson. He was a graduate assistant at Old Dominion from
1975-77.

Purnell earned three letters as a student-athlete at Old
Dominion before he graduated with a degree in health and physical
education in 1975. He earned a master's degree in physical education
administration in 1978.

He was the senior co-captain and MVP of the 1975 Old Dominion
team that won the Division II National Championship. He was the most
valuable player of the national championship game and finished his
career with 1090 points and 476 assists. A sixth-round selection of
the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1975 NBA draft, he was inducted into the
Old Dominion Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988. He was an honorable
mention All-American that year.

A native of Berlin, Maryland, Purnell was born May 19, 1953.
He and his wife Vicky have two children, Olivia and Lindsay.

Oliver Purnell Year by Year
Year	School		Record	Postseason
1988-89	Radford		15-13
1989-90	Radford		7-22
1990-91	Radford		22-7
1991-92	Old Dominion	15-15	NCAA, first round
1992-93	Old Dominion	21-8	NIT, 2nd round
1993-94	Old Dominion	21-10	NIT, 2nd round
1994-95	Dayton		7-20
1995-96	Dayton		15-14
1996-97	Dayton		13-14
1997-98	Dayton		21-12	NIT, 2nd round
1998-99	Dayton		11-17
1999-00	Dayton		22-9	NCAA, 1st round
2000-01	Dayton		21-13	NIT, 3rd round
2001-02	Dayton		21-11	NIT, 2nd round
2002-03	Dayton		24-6	NCAA, lst round

at Radford	(3 years)       44-42	.512
at Old Dominion (3 years)	57-33	.633
at Dayton			155-116	.574
Totals			        256-191	.573

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