The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


Coach Purcell leads the Girl’s Basketball Team to Success

Irela Montelongo
Coach Purcell stands besides his senior girls basketball captains feeling prideful and victorious.

Charles Purcell has come to Gables with one goal in mind: taking the Lady Cavalier team to victory. Through team building drills and determination, he builds more than just a team dynamic, Purcell builds a Gables family. In hopes of accomplishing his childhood dreams, Purcell comes to Gables to finish his vision of shaping the future of Girls basketball.

Growing up in Los Angeles, Charles Purcell grew up near the Great Western Forum, which was the stadium where the Los Angeles Lakers used to play their home games. In 1980, gazing at his television, Purcell spectated Magic Earvin Johnson scoring bucket after bucket, to help the Lakers win the NBA championship.

Once idolizing the purple and gold Laker jerseys, Purcell currently roots for another combination of colors: crimson and grey. Purcell’s experience inside the locker room and seeing players develop on the court makes him a legitimate leader to the Lady Cavaliers.

Living out his passion across the country, Purcell began competing in basketball games when he was 11 years old. His specialty was cashing in points as he played shooting guard for James Monroe High School from 1986 to 1989.

Purcell wanted to apply his talents to the next level, therefore, he decided to play for Los Angeles Valley College once he graduated. He played one year for LAVC as the second string shooting guard before he decided to call the quits as a player.

Coach Purcell giving the girls a pep talk at the Gables gym. Irela Montelongo)

“This is not the same Cav girls team the school is used to seeing from the past. Myself, the girls parents, and the team are ready to win some games now,” Coach Purcell said.

However, he never abandoned the game of basketball, as he coached his three kids. In fact, he was able to coach his kids from middle school all the way into high school for American Athletic Union games.

“Our new coach has really stepped in. He didn’t waste any time, and it feels like we’ve known him for years, and that’s really what I like about him. He’s very prominent on winning. He’s coached for several years. He goes to workshops at Florida International University. He gives us feedback and trains us like we’re professionals… not like we’re in high school,” senior Mia Aguilar said.

In 2009, his wife, a Miami native, wanted the family to move to South Florida. Arriving here, Purcell was offered a teaching job by the Gables Adult Education Center. Nearly 15 years later, Gables needed a girls basketball coach for 2023 season, and upon hearing the news, Purcell applied for the job. Mr. Romero, impressed with his basketball background, handed Purcell his gym keys.

Coach Purcell demonstrating drills for the girls basketball team. (Irela Montelongo)

“I always wanted to teach at Gables, and now I am lucky to be the varsity coach here for the girls. Just spread the word about the team and get the fans at the home games so the ladies know the school supports Girls Basketball just like everyone supports the boys,” Coach Purcell said. 

Practice usually kicks off with warm-ups like the “Owl warm-up drill” that he adopted and named after the girls in Florida Atlantic University basketball team. This warm-up’s purpose is to condition and to focus on proper basketball IQ with layups, perimeter shot selections around the key and from a three point range. And other drills to get the players ready for upcoming games. To end practice, they usually gather while Coach Purcell offers constructive criticism, points out where the team is lacking and encourages the girls to keep working hard.

“Although he just began as coach, he has brought a hustle and new sense of morale to the team. I feel motivated to come to practice, and we all have bonded as a team. We also focus a lot more on team bonding and our personal physical health rather than just learning plays. He organizes scrimmages, team outings like to go to watch a basketball game. Although it’s just the beginning of his coaching career at Gables, his dedication is unmatched,” junior Nathalie Schwart said.

Although Coach Purcell has only been at Gables for a few months, his dedication to lead the Lady Cavaliers to victory is apparent. The time, effort and dedication Purcell puts into the team pays off, creating a not only victorious team but also a loving family.


Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Barbara Teixeira
Barbara Teixeira, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Barbara Teixeira or Barb, as most people call her, is a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program. Barbara joined CavsConnect to further her love of writing and to be able to bring her perspective to the Cavaliers through writing. She loves talking, so much that she speaks four languages. What seems like an advantage often gets her in trouble in class for talking to her friends too much. Barbara loves traveling, surfing in her hometown Rio de Janeiro and listening to music. Some things on Barbara's bucket list are backpacking around the world, seeing Frank Ocean live and getting 300 community service hours before graduation.
Irela Montelongo
Irela Montelongo, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Irela Montelongo is a sophomore at Coral Gables Senior High. She joined CavsConnect in hopes of improving her writing and maybe one day following in the steps of her uncle who is a renowned Cuban author. Irela enjoys being able to express her feelings through her paintings and little clay sculptures in her spare time. She loves spending time outside but she loves it a little extra in the night time... primarily because she loves the way the air smells at night, a smell that reminds her of the bed time witch stories her dad would make up for when she was younger. Irela also enjoys reading in her spare time, mostly about human habits and psychology. Her favorite book right now is called "The four agreements". She loves listening to music and even playing little tunes on her guitar every now and then when she remembers she knows how to play. This year, she hopes to make the best out of even the worst situations and always put forth maximum effort so she will not be left with any "what ifs" at the end of this year.
More to Discover
Donate to CavsConnect

Your donation will support the student journalists of Coral Gables Senior High School. Your contribution will help us cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to CavsConnect

Comments (0)

The CavsConnect staff encourages comments and conversation on all of our content. We reserve the right to remove comments that are vulgar, rude, hurtful, or unrelated to the topic.
All CavsConnect Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *