Brian Purcell enters his 30th year as the head coach of the Presbyterian College women's soccer program in 2018. Since he has been in charge, Purcell has posted an overall mark of 256-235-23 since the program's inception in 1989. Purcell is an alumnus of PC.
In 2017 PC finished 3-13 and 1-8 in Big South play. The Blue Hose defeated Furman 2-0 and Wofford 3-2 in the opening week of the season, this was the Blue Hose's first win ever over the Paladins. They shutout a Paladins team that averaged 2.50 goals per game this season.
2016 saw the Blue Hose post a 3-14-0 overall record with a 1-8-0 mark in Big South Conference play. Kristen Peagler was named the Big South Attacking Player of the Week on August 9 as the senior forward scored two goals and dished out a pair of assists as the Blue Hose defeated Hampton 5-0 on August 28 to open the season. The team earned a 2-1 victory at USC Upstate on September 16 and won its only conference game 3-2 over Charleston Southern on October 12 as the Blue Hose rallied from a two-goal deficit. Kia Mattison earned All-Academic Team honors.
The 2015 campaign saw the team improve on their win total from the previous season. PC went 6-11-1 overall and 2-7-1 in the Big South. Purcell led the Blue Hose to a 2-0 victory over Liberty on Oct. 7, marking the first win over the Eagles in program history. Once again, the team had three members earn Big South honors with a pair of players earning a spot on the Second Team, and another player earning a spot on the All-Freshman Team.
2014 saw the Blue Hose finish 3-10-3 overall, with a 0-7-3 mark in conference play. Three players earned All-Big South honors, with members of the team garnering honorable mention honors, along with spots on the All-Freshman and All-Academic teams.
Purcell guided the Blue Hose to new heights in 2013. Under the coach's tutelage, PC won nine matches—a program-record six coming in Big South Conference play—to secure the team's first-ever berth in the Big South Conference Championship tournament. The Blue Hose finished the season with 24 goals scored and 21 goals allowed, the best marks since the 2007 season, and the team's nine wins marked the most since 2003. A record five players also earned Big South Conference accolades in 2013, including players on the league's First Team, Second Team, All-Freshman and All-Academic squads.
In 2012, Purcell helped the Blue Hose to a program-high three Big South Conference wins over VMI, Charleston Southern and Gardner-Webb while guiding the program to new highs in team goals and assists since joining the Big South. His team also turned in a 3.458 team grade point average as a team.
Purcell led the team to the best record in Division I play since joining the Big South Conference, compiling a 5-12-1 mark in 2010. The campaign saw the Blue Hose put together a three-match winning streak in addition to toppling North Florida in double-overtime.
In 2008, Purcell's team recorded its first-ever win over a Big South Conference foe as a conference member, beating Gardner-Webb 2-0 on Oct. 1. The squad then shut out Francis Marion for its third straight shutout. Under Purcell's direction, defender Rachel Lamb garnered first-team all-conference accolades.
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 and 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 make him the SAC's all-time leader. He also ranks 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 15-2-1squad 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. Purcell also serves as co-director of the Presbyterian College soccer camps in the summer.
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.