Purnell resigns as DePaul head coach

Mar 15, 2015 - 11:43 AM Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Oliver Purnell has resigned as men's basketball coach at DePaul.

Purnell spent five seasons in charge of the Blue Demons and posted a record of 54-105. DePaul was 12-20 this season, ending the campaign with an eight-game losing streak. The Blue Demons never won more than 12 games during Purnell's tenure.

"It is my best interest and my family's best interest to resign as head coach of the DePaul basketball program," said Purnell in a statement Saturday. "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."

DePaul opened the 2014-15 season 6-1, then lost six straight, but started 3-0 in the Big East. The Blue Demons were 5-2 in conference play after consecutive wins over St. John's and Seton Hall in January, but won just once more the rest of the season.

"We would like to thank Oliver for his time at DePaul," said athletic 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."

Purnell has an overall record of 448-384 in 27 years as a collegiate head coach. He spent seven years at Clemson and guided the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament three times before taking over at DePaul in April 2010.

Before his stint at Clemson, Purnell spent nine years at Dayton, three seasons at Old Dominion and three years at Radford. He had a winning record at each of his first four coaching stops.

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