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Purnsley, Harrell Join 2015 Thunder

Monday October 20, 2014

 Two Leaders Bring 25 Years of AFL Experience to Portland


Portland, Ore. – The Portland Thunder added to their football operations staff this weekend by signing Ernesto "Netto" Purnsley as Director of Player Personnel and returning Clay Harrell as the team's Offensive and Defensive Line Coach.

"We're proud to announce that we've hired Ernesto Purnsley and Clay Harrell to our organization," said Thunder Head Coach Mike Hohensee. "We thought [Harell] did a great job last year with the young talent and we're looking forward to seeing him grow as a coach. Ernesto Purnsley has 17 years of Arena Football experience and his expertise is going to go a long way toward helping this franchise reach its potential and help us realize Terry Emmert’s vision."

Purnsley was Hohensee's defensive coordinator for the last three seasons with the Iowa Barnstormers and brings 17 years of AFL experience into the front office. Prior to uniting with Coach Hohensee in 2010, Purnsley was a head coach for the Utah Blaze and coached the Colorado Crush and Indiana/Albany Firebirds. His defenses in Colorado established team records for sacks, interceptions, and scoring defense.

Harrell began his Arena Football career in 2006 as a member of the af2's Everett Hawks, where he earned All-af2 second-team honors as a defensive lineman. He entered the AFL in 2007 with the Nashville Katz and converted to the offensive line. Harrell started every game at fullback for the Spokane Shock during their 2010 ArenaBowl run and the 2011 season before joining the team as an assistant coach in 2012. He strapped on the pads and played one more season with the Utah Blaze and Cleveland Gladiators in 2013 before getting back under the headset in 2014 with the Thunder.

Join Purnsley and Harrell in 2015 and participate in the Thunder Loyalty Program! Get great one-of-a-kind fan experiences and see great football from March-August! Find out more by going to or calling 503-773-4235.

About the Portland Thunder

The Portland Thunder look to follow up their inaugural season’s playoff run with another great season in the Moda Center! Tickets and sponsorships are available for the 2015 season. For more information, email us at or call 503-773-4235. For all the latest news and discussion on the Portland Thunder, follow the team on Facebook (, Twitter and Instagram (@PDXThunder).