March 18, 2008
Clemson, SC — Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell has agreed to a contract extension that runs through the 2013-14 season. Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips made the announcement on Tuesday.
Purnell is in his fifth season at the school and has led Clemson to postseason play each of the last four years, including a berth in the NCAA Tournament this year. Clemson opens play on Friday against Villanova in Tampa, FL. Purnell has a record of 94-67 for his five years, including a 49-20 mark the last two years. The 49 wins are a Clemson record for a two-year period. He has taken Clemson to postseason play each of the last four years and the Tigers have averaged 21 wins per year during that time.
Clemson’s current seniors have won 84 games the last four years, including 32 vs. ACC teams (including ACC Tournaments). The 84 overall wins and 32 wins vs. ACC teams tie for the most in Clemson history in a four-year period. Clemson tied a school record this year with 10 regular season ACC wins, and the 12 total wins vs. ACC teams established a school record.
This past weekend he guided the Tigers to the championship game of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament with wins over Boston College and seventh-ranked Duke before losing to number-one ranked North Carolina in the championship game, 86-81. It was just the second time in history and the first time since 1962 that Clemson had advanced to the championship game.
Clemson has improved its victory total from 10 his first year to 16 his second years to 19 his third season to 25 last year. Clemson has 24 wins this season entering the NCAA Tournament. The Clemson program is the fourth different program he has turned around in his 20 years as a head coach. Earlier he had successful stops at Radford, Old Dominion and Dayton. With Clemson’s invitation this year he has taken three different programs to the NCAA Tournament. He is the 31st coach in NCAA history to accomplish that feat.
“We were delighted five years ago when Oliver and Vickie decided to come to Clemson and build our program,” said Phillips. “Five years later we are seeing the significant progress that has been made. Oliver Purnell has built this program the right way and we are now well respected in the ACC and nationally.
“We have made a strong commitment to build upon what he has established in the last five years. We feel he has put us in position where we can be a factor in the ACC race and consistently participate in the NCAA Tournament. All the success we have had begins with Oliver and we are proud to announce this agreement that he will continue to be our basketball coach for many years into the future.”
“I’d like to thank Terry Don Phillips, President Jim Barker and the Board of Trustees for their commitment to the program and for showing in everyway that basketball is important at Clemson,” said Purnell. “That is the reason I came to Clemson five years ago. This is a happy day for me. I’ve coached at outstanding programs who were committed to basketball. The commitment here is stronger than I have ever felt before.”
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