Brian Purcell enters his 31st year as the head coach of the Presbyterian College women’s soccer team in the fall of 2019. The program’s only coach since its inception in 1989, Purcell has posted an overall mark of 264-243-23.
The program won a Division I best five consecutive games in 2018, finishing the season with an overall record of 8-8 (3-7 Big South). The win total fell one shy of the 2013 team that finished at 9-9 (6-5 Big South), which also saw bests with 24 goals scored against 21 goals allowed, and earned the team’s first berth in the Big South Tournament.
In 2017, the Blue Hose picked up non-conference wins over Furman, 2-0, and Wofford, 3-2. The shutout victory over the Paladins, a team that averaged 2.50 goals on the year, was a program first.
Under his direction, the team has had at least one player selected for the All-Big South First Team (2008, `13, `18) and Second Team (2012, `13, `15) on three separate occasions as well as the Honorable Mention Team twice (2014, `17). The team also had a player earn Big South All-Freshman honors for five consecutive seasons (2011-15) as well as this past season in 2018. In 2009, the Blue Hose earned the Big South Sportsmanship award.
Purcell has guided the team through many changes including the jump to Division I in 2007. The Blue Hose finished 6-7-1 that year, beating their future league co-members High Point, Radford and VMI. PC retained the edge when playing at home with a 3-2-1 record at Martin Stadium.
PC left the Division II level with six Southern Atlantic Conference championships, two SAC tournament titles, and made five trips to the NCAA Division II tournament (1994, '95, '97, '99, and '03). Purcell's 81 conference wins made him the SAC's all-time leader. He also ranked sixth all-time in Division II with 207 career wins.
Under Purcell's guidance, the Blue Hose had their best year in the history of the program in 1999. The 15-2-1 squad spent a week at No. 1 on the NSCAA/adidas rankings and finished eighth in the Coaches Poll. PC captured its sixth SAC title and hosted a first-round match of the Division II national tournament against Belmont Abbey. Purcell was recognized as the NSCAA/adidas Southeast Region Coach of the Year and SAC Coach of the Year for his success with the team.
Purcell is a seven-time SAC Coach of the Year winner and earned National NSCAA Coach of the Year accolades in 1994 after leading the Blue Hose to a 15-3 record.
Before accepting the position as head coach of the women's team, Purcell spent one year as an assistant coach with PC's men's squad. He holds a USSF "B" coaching license and is a member of the USYSA Region III Olympic Development staff.
The Decatur, Ga., native graduated from Presbyterian College in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in education and social studies and earned his master's from the U.S. Sports Academy in 1989. Purcell resides in Greenwood with his wife Kim and their two sons, Jay and Will.