The DePaul Blue Demons announced Saturday that they have fired head coach Oliver Purnell after five seasons at the helm. Purnell was in the midst of a seven-year contract, but had failed to live up to his and the program’s lofty expectations. The Blue Demons finished with a disappointing 12-20 record during the 2014-15 season and had become stagnant under Purnell. Over his five years, Purnell accumulated an abysmal 54-108 record, struggling across the board; especially, however, within the Big East conference, where DePaul was just 15-75
“It is in my best interest and my family’s best interest to resign as head coach of the DePaul basketball program,” Purnell said in a statement. “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.”
Over the course of his coaching career, Purnell became most known for his years spent at Clemson, but his reputation failed to carry over during his tenure with the Blue Demons. Purnell has made six NCAA Tournament appearances failing to win a single one of those contests. His most recent failure might be the last opportunity Purnell has to revive his career and he may have spent his last game on the sidelines.
*Section Photo credit to Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Denny Medley, USA Today Sports