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Pittsburgh to hire Duke assistant Jeff Capel, reports say

28 March, 2018, 01:23 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

"I am honored to be named the head coach of the University of Pittsburgh men's basketball program", Capel said in a team release.

On Tuesday reports circulated that Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel is expected to be hired as Pittsburgh's new head men's basketball coach.

While it's too cliche to call the hire "perfect", the Pitt program has to be extremely pleased, as Capel appears to be a great choice to bring the Panthers back to prominence. Prior to that, he was head coach at Oklahoma, where he compiled a 96-69 record in five seasons and led the Sooners to the Elite Eight in 2009.

For Pitt, Capel checks all the major boxes. He was 162-110 as a head coach. At VCU, he led the Rams back to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 for the first time in almost a decade.

Capel's tenure with the Sooners ended when he was sacked in March 2011 as part of the fallout from an NCAA investigation that discovered former Oklahoma assistant Oronde Taliiaferro broke NCAA rules by failing to report that a player had received an impermissible extra benefit and by lying to investigators.

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His critics will say he only advanced in the NCAA Tournament once, which is true.

But that's a pretty shortsighted argument.

At Duke, Capel is credited with helping the Blue Devils to their biggest recruiting successes in recent years, including Marvin Bagley, Wendell Carter, Harry Giles and Brandon Ingram.

That's worth repeating, Capel and Duke has successfully recruited four 5-star players EACH year since 2015.

The Panthers reached the NCAAs 11 times in 13 seasons under Dixon.

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The immediate expectations won't be quite as high at Pitt. That second part was something Kevin Stallings never figured out, and it led to his downfall in Pittsburgh.

"Duke University and Coach K have had a profound impact on my life", said Capel.

Acting coach Jeff Capel of the Duke Blue Devils.

"Jeff Capel is one of the most dynamic coaches in the country", Krzyzewski said.

This coach is no longer in-waiting. Capel also played for Coach K at Duke, before starting his coaching career as an assistant at Old Dominion in 2000.

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