DePaul's surprise pick: Clemson's Purnell

Oliver Purnell was DePaul's surprise choice as coach. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS -- DePaul agreed with Clemson men's basketball coach Oliver Purnell late Monday on a seven-year contract that will pay Purnell well beyond the $1.6 million salary he was making with the Tigers.

"DePaul presents a great opportunity,'' Purnell told ESPN.com Tuesday morning.

Oliver Purnell said the challenge of rebuilding DePaul attracted him to his new job.

The stunning hire -- culminated shortly after the Duke-Butler NCAA national championship game -- salvaged a search for a new coach that lasted nearly three months.

It's a super job,'' Purnell said. "They are very, very committed to restoring a tradition and make DePaul Chicago's team.''

Purnell wasn't on any reported DePaul prospective hire lists throughout the winter. He said Tuesday he was contacted four or five days ago. DePaul had made overtures all over the country and few seemed to know where Blue Demons were headed.

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