I guess I might actually know what I'm talking about because I am not the only one questioning the hire of Oliver Purnell as the man to return DePaul to greatness.
Several very successful AAU and local high school coaches are questioning the move as well. Between all the local papers and sites all the same issues came up, the big ones being:
-no Chicago ties
Both could have been said about former coach Jerry Wainwright. Jerry was 63 when he was fired this past December.
No Chicago ties also went for former coach Dave Leitao who bolted for Virginia in 2005.
Interestingly the only person who thought it was a great hire was Illinois Warriors AAU head coach Larry Butler. He said "Oliver Purnell has credibility. He knows how to rebuild a program. He's done that at every program he's been at. He's going to do it at DePaul. He's always been able to recruit quality student-athletes. DePaul is now moving in the right direction where it needs to be. Kudos to Jeanie [Lenti Ponsetto]." Also added "That doesn't bother me that he doesn't have Chicago ties. We don't necessarily need a Chicago guy. We need a guy who will come in and give Chicago guys love by recruiting their guys and help turn DePaul's program around."
But won't it be too late by the time he makes all these connections. If he makes it through his 7 year contract he will be 64 years of age. That's closer to retirement then hitting your prime.
The interesting thing about Butler liking the move is that he is the former coach of John Scheyer to said no to all the local school and went to Duke which is in the ACC. Incase you didn't know Clemson, Purnell's former school, is also in the ACC.
Again why not go after the coach of Dayton, Brain Gregory who is from Chicago or Butler head coach Brad Stevens who just lost to Scheyer's Duke team in the finals on Monday.
If not a head coach from a small school why not an assistant coach from Duke? Chris Collins maybe who again is a local guy and has been an assistant under Coach K for the last decade and even has helped coach the Olympic team.
Like I said in my past article I hope it works out but I have serious doubts, I had no idea he was 57, and I feel a little better that local respected coaches agree with me.
It is also important to state that all of the coaches said they won't hold it against Purnell that he has no Chicago ties but it is interesting to know that in his 22 years of being a head coach he has never had a Chicago player on his team.