Pitt hires Duke assistant Capel as basketball coach

Wednesday, 28 Mar, 2018

After coming up short of guys like Thad Matta, Sean Miller and Dan Hurley, the University of Pittsburgh have found their guy for the men's basketball team.

A coaching search that starts as a hot mess doesn't usually end well, but that appears to be the case for the Pitt men's basketball program. He was sacked in 2011 after Oklahoma went 27-36 over his final two seasons, the program's first back-to-back losing campaigns in more than 40 years, and joined Mike Krzyzewski's coaching staff at Duke, Capel's alma mater.

Capel spent the last seven seasons as an assistant under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke.

He also served as head coach at Virginia Commonwealth, going 79-41 in four seasons with the Rams. Athletic director Heather Lyke fired Stallings on March 8 after two seasons. At Duke, Capel was a four-year starter. Then at Oklahoma, he took the Sooners to back-to-back tournament bids in 2008 and 2009.

Capel will take over a young roster that included seven freshmen averaging at least 17 minutes. "Having come from a proud basketball family, Jeff Capel is one of the most dynamic coaches in the country".

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Capel has been instrumental in luring talent away from Kentucky and other top schools in recent years, most notably the 2018 recruiting class that includes R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson, and Cam Reddish.

Duke went 4-3 under Capel, who also led the Blue Devils to single victories at Georgia Tech in 2015-16 and against Wake Forest this year while Krzyzewski was ill.

Capel was not implicated on the violations from Taliaferro.

Capel graduated from Duke in 1997 after a distinguished career, including an appearance in the 1994 National Championship game. Bagley guided Duke's push to the Elite Eight this season before the Blue Devils fell to Kansas in the regional final. The Panthers have missed postseason play in each of the past two seasons, but have reached the NCAA Tournament in 13 of the past 20 seasons overall. For now, they'll settle for something resembling a competitive team after the worst season in the program's 113-year history.