TOWSON, Md. - Dwayne Purnell, who played guard for Towson State University's men's basketball team in 1979-80, died October 29, 2009 at his home in Frankford on Maryland's Eastern Shore. He was 48-years-old.
Recruited by former head coach Vince Angotti, and a member of Towson's first NCAA Division I team, Purnell was a speedy playmaker out of Cardinal Gibbons High School where he helped Ray Mullis' Crusaders to consecutive Catholic League championships, averaging ten points per game. The Crusaders were 27-5 in his senior year when he was named Cardinal Gibbons' top defensive player.
Dwayne was the youngest of three brothers to have played college basketball, joining Oliver Purnell (Old Dominion) who is currently the head basketball coach at Clemson University, and Gerald Purnell (Bucknell) who is a District Court of Maryland judge in Worcester County.
As a freshman at Towson Dwayne appeared in 21 games as a reserve guard helping the independent Tigers to a 10-16 record against a schedule that was arguably the most difficult in the program's history. He graduated with a degree in Political Science in 1994. He later earned a Masters degree in Elementary/Secondary Counseling.
Professionally, Purnell worked in the Indian River School District as a counselor for six years prior to joining the Ocean City Christian School in 2003. He became the school's administrator in 2005. Later, the school changed its name to Seaside Christian Academy.
An ordained Evangelist, Purnell was a member of the Cross of Christ Church in Berlin, Maryland.
A funeral service will be held Wednesday, November 4 at 12 noon at the Faith Baptist Church at 519 South Main Street in Berlin. A viewing is scheduled for Tuesday evening at the church from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.