Purnell compiled a 138-90 record during his seven-year stint at Clemson, leading the Tigers to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. Despite his regular-season success, the 56 year-old Purnell has yet to actually win an NCAA tournament game, going 0-6 in his career, with his latest loss a 86-78 setback to 10-seed Missouri in this year's edition of March Madness.
Purnell will most certainly bring his trademark aggressive trapping style of defense to DePaul, where the the Blue Demons have struggled, to say the least, in the hyper-competitive Big East. Indeed, despite producing a handful of NBA players over the last decade, DePaul's once proud basketball program has bottomed out, finishing last in the Big East each of the last two seasons.
While Purnell is a step down from the other candidates DePaul was rumored to be after, he has a track record of making downtrodden programs respectable, which at this point for the Blue Demons would be an enormous step up. Considering how awful they've been, and how daunting rebuilding their program, even with a hypothetical pipeline of Chicago-area players, will be in the Big East, he was probably the best they could have hoped to do.