Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Clemson coach Oliver Purnell agreed to a two-year contract extension on Tuesday that could keep him with the Tigers through 2014.

Purnell guided the Tigers this season to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1998. They play Villanova on Friday.

He is 94-67 in five years with Clemson and has a school record 49 wins during the last two seasons. The Tigers finished third in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, their best since winning the regular-season title in 1990.

"Oliver Purnell has built this program the right way and we are now well respected in the ACC and nationally," Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips said. "We have made a strong commitment to build upon what he has established in the last five years."

Purnell will get a raise to move him into the top-third in pay among ACC coaches, Phillips said.
The exact terms of the deal will be released later, officials said.

"It's a happy day for me," Purnell said. "I've coached at a lot of outstanding programs, Old Dominion and Dayton just to name a couple, that were committed to basketball -- great places. The commitment that is here is stronger than I have ever felt before. This feels like home."

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

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