Monday, April 12, 2010
DePaul's Ponsetto confident in Purnell
DePaul athletics director Jean Lenti Ponsetto is comfortable with her choice of Oliver Purnell as the Blue Demons men's basketball coach, despite some grumbling by certain Chicago Public League coaches.
"You always feel bad, because everybody has an opinion, and everybody has somebody that they're rooting for that they'd like to see get the job," Lenti Ponsetto told Jonathan Hood on ESPN 1000. "And I appreciate what our Public League coaches are saying.
"Many of them weighed in and told me who they thought -- or who they felt -- would have been a good hire in our situation."
Some coaches expressed concerns that Purnell, who coached the last seven seasons at Clemson, is not a "Chicago guy," and could have difficulty recruiting the city.
"I think everybody would always like to have a Chicago guy," Lenti Ponsetto said. "Jerry Wainwright was a Chicago guy, Joey Meyer was a Chicago guy, and we didn't always get Chicago Public League kids then, either.
"I appreciate their perspective, and I think Oliver has reached out to a good number of those guys at this point in time and made them feel like he's certainly going to be touch with them and establish relationships with them. A good number of them wouldn't have been happy, because not all of them wanted the same guy, so I think it was bound to happen no matter who we hired."
Lenti Ponsetto was asked if DePaul could succeed in the Big East without a Chicago Public League pipeline.
"I absolutely do," she said. "In a lot of sports, we have students who come from all over the country and all over the area.
"I think ideally from my perspective, the student-athletes who have the least amount of problems in college are the ones who have their support systems nearby."