TDP says Purnell decision caught him off-guard; national search begins for coach

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips said that Oliver Purnell’s resignation caught him as much by surprise as it has Clemson’s fans.

Phillips was called at 1:30 a.m. by Purnell, who dropped the bombshell that Phillips would need to start looking for a head coach.

“This all has happened so quick, my head’s still not clear,” Phillips told the media during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. “I am as surprised as anyone.”

Phillips then said that once he heard from Purnell, he was certain that Purnell had already made his mind up.

“When Oliver called me, he already had his mind made up,” Phillips. “He made me aware that the Athletic Director at DePaul would be calling me, and she certainly did. He had already interviewed, and when he called I think his mind was made up. When Oliver called, he said he was accepting the job, and didn’t elaborate on his decision.”

Purnell was announced as the 13th head coach at DePaul in a press conference in Chicago, and said that he was drawn to the “challenge” of putting DePaul back on the map.

“As we stand before you here today, I am fired up and excited about the opportunity and challenge here at DePaul University,” Purnell said during the press conference. “Over last four or five days as the recruitment of me kind of me kind of heated up, and as I thought about DePaul, it became apparent to me that this kind of challenge is something I have passion for: An opportunity to restore a once-great program to where it belongs.“DePaul belongs in the elite of college basketball, and in the elite of the Big East. This gets my juices flowing.”

Purnell assistant Ron Bradley has been told by Phillips that he will be the interim head coach, and will have the opportunity to earn the job, but Phillips said the search will be a “national” one.

“I am working on it as we speak,” Phillips said. “I am clearing my calendar and setting a time frame. Hopefully, in the next two weeks, we can make a decision. Whether it is an up-and-comer or an experienced coach, it has to be a coach that can build on what Oliver started here.”

Phillips then said that he was disappointed in losing Purnell, and his aim will be to find a coach that can build on what Purnell began.

“No one hates losing Oliver Purnell more than I do,” Phillips said. “I am still in a sense of shock, but I am very pleased and proud that he passed our way. We will do a national search,, but our program is on a solid foundation, and we will go to the person that we believe can build on that foundation left here and move forward.”

Ron Bradley Named Interim Head Coach at Clemson

Associate head coach assumes interim duties following Oliver Purnell’s move to DePaul

Ron Bradley has been named Clemson’s interim head coach for men’s basketball, as announced by Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips. Bradley takes over on an interim basis for Oliver Purnell, who was announced as DePaul’s head coach Tuesday afternoon at a news conference.

Bradley has been Clemson’s top assistant over the last seven seasons, all under Purnell. During that time, the Tigers have advanced to the postseason the last six seasons, including three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths over the last three years.

During Bradley’s time at Clemson, the Tiger program has compiled four consecutive 20-win seasons, a first in school history. Clemson has compiled an overall record of 138 wins against 88 losses, a 61 percent winning mark, since 2003 when Bradley joined the coaching staff.

He helped the Tigers to a school record-tying 25 wins and appearance in the NIT championship game in 2007. In 2008, Clemson advanced to the championship game of the ACC Tournament and earned the school’s first NCAA Tournament berth in 10 years. In 2009, he helped the school to its fifth straight season of improvement in terms of overall winning percentage. After that season, he was one of 10 assistant coaches to be named a “rising star” in the profession by Basketball Scoop.

Bradley helped implement Clemson’s pressure defense over the years. The Tigers have ranked among the top 15 teams in the NCAA each of the last six seasons in steals per game, peaking with a school-record 352 steals and No. 2 national ranking in the category in 2005-06.

Bradley has served as a head coach before. He spent five years as head coach at his alma mater, Eastern Nazarene (1976-81), and 11 years at Radford (1991-2002) when he succeeded Purnell. He compiled a 289-175 record at those institutions and led Radford to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1998.

Bradley is a native of Quincy, MA. He was a three-time NAIA honorable mention All-American at Eastern Nazarene and was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame last fall.

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Subject (Replies: 32) Author
TDP says Purnell decision caught him off-guard; national search begins for coach
1:30 am.....WOW***
If somebody woke me up at 0130 with that news I'd tell 'em
BRAD STEVENS--Should we even get our hopes up?
Prime T. Tiger
My thought exactly....
OP probably wanted to let TDP know before it was reported
stevie ballgame
Doesn't sound as if TDP was even informed they were in
He said AD called him Sunday night.***
Thanks for the clarification***
this once again proves to me that college coaches are
Graphic Tiger®
Go back to how we hired OP in the first place
I wonder if this "national search" is the same or similar..
OP is under contract and interviewing?! Legality and Ethics
"Caught him off-guard" AKA: TDP has no idea what's going on
You're absolutely right
Might as well save time and money, just go ahead
Yep - I've seen this statement before
bradley never coached a game as head coach here, unlike
Re: Yep - I've seen this statement before
Re: TDP says Purnell decision caught him off-guard; national search begins for coach
Like signing him to an extension last summer?
Re: TDP says Purnell decision caught him off-guard; national search begins for coach
Re: TDP says Purnell decision caught him off-guard; national search begins for coach
Agree....well said***
Re: TDP says Purnell decision caught him off-guard; national search begins for coach
Ah... horsecrap!
She couldn' afford to pay her own way?***
Re: TDP says Purnell decision caught him off-guard; national search begins for coach
well this confirms a suspicion I had
Who makes a decision & calls their boss at 1:30AM? Low class***
Evidently OP feels Clemson doesn't deserve to be among ...
1/2 the article lauds Bradley. TDP is using T-Net to prep us***

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