Purnell To Serve As President of NABC

March 31, 2006
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 31, 2006

NORFOLK, VA - Oliver Purnell(ODU'75), current head coach at Clemson University will be named President of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Sunday at the NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis. The announcement will be made at the conclusion of the annual NABC meeting. The 52-year old Purnell, the NABC's First Vice President this past season, will serve his new position during the 2006-07 season. He is the second ODU alumni to head such a position.

Purnell, a 1975 Division II All-American captained the Monarchs to the 1975 NCAA title. After gradation he served as an assistant for Paul Webb at ODU. Purnell then returned to his alma mater in 1992 to lead the Monarchs to the CAA title and a berth in the NCAA tournament.

ODU then reached the second round of the NIT in both 1993 and 1994. A member of the ODU Sports Hall of Fame, Purnell scored 1,091 career points and ranks eighth at ODU with 496 career assists.

Lady Monarch head coach Wendy Larry served as president of the WBCA from 2003-05.

Purnell will be the first Clemson coach in any sport to serve as national president of a coaches association. He will be just the fourth ACC coach to hold the position, joining Bill Foster of Duke (1975-76), Dean Smith of North Carolina (1981-82) and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke (1998-99). Current North Carolina Coach Roy Williams was President of the NABC when he was the head coach at Kansas in 2001-02.

"This is a great responsibility and at the same time a great honor for Oliver Purnell and for Clemson University," said Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips. "Oliver is a man of integrity who has always had the respect of his peers and this certainly affirms it. I understood that when we hired him three years ago."

The NABC was founded in 1927 by legendary Kansas Jayhawks coach "Phog" Allen. Today, the organization has nearly 5,000 members throughout various levels in the coaching community. Purnell recently completed his third season as head coach at Clemson, and he has guided the program to postseason play for the past two seasons, a first for the school since 1997-99. He led the Tigers to a 19-13 record this year, Clemson's best ledger since the 1998-99 team won 20 games. Clemson also won an eight-year high seven ACC games this past season. Included in the victory total this past season was Purnell's 300th career head coaching win, a 95-82 triumph over Georgia Tech in the regular season finale.

As a Division I head coach, Purnell has been at the helm of four programs (Radford, Old Dominion, Dayton and Clemson) for a total of 18 seasons. He has taken his school to postseason play six of the last seven years.

Purnell also has a great deal of experience with USA Basketball. He served as an assistant coach with the 2004 U.S. Olympic team that earned a bronze medal in Athens, Greece. He also was head coach of the undefeated, gold medal U.S. team during the 1999 World University Games.