Purnell had served Clemson as head coach since the 2003-04 season, leading the Tigers to six postseason appearances in the seven years, including three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in the last three years.
Below is a statement from Clemson Athletic Director Dr. Terry Don Phillips.
"Oliver Purnell is to be commended for his outstanding contributions to our basketball program, athletic department and University community over the last seven years.
"He is one of the most respected coaches in college basketball and one of the most respected people on this campus and we hate to see him leave.
"When he came to Clemson we had not been to a postseason tournament in four consecutive years. Now we join National Champion Duke as the only ACC schools to play in the NCAA Tournament each of the last three years. We have had a winning record in the ACC three consecutive years, a first in our history, and won at least 20 games four consecutive years, another first.
"Oliver did things the right way, he never cut corners and he was professional in every undertaking. The interest in our program from a regional and national standpoint has reached previously unattainable heights. That was apparent when ESPN College Gameday came to our campus this year.
"He recruited student-athletes with high character. His graduation rate for his first four classes (that entered from 2003-04 through 2006-07) will be 78 percent when the current seniors graduate in a few weeks.
"Additionally, Oliver and Vicky have made a major contribution to the University and Clemson community. He just received a national honor from the NABC for his Coaches vs. Cancer events.
"Because of his work, our program is on solid footing and we feel we will attract an outstanding coach to lead this program in the future. We will begin our search immediately."
Terry Don Phillips on Purnell's departure
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