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Reaction: Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel heading to Pittsburgh

28 March, 2018, 01:25 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Duke basketball  Instagram

- Duke Associate Head Coach Jeff Capel will leave Durham to take over the men's basketball program at Pittsburgh, a Duke source told WRAL News Tuesday.

"Pittsburgh just made an wonderful hire to lead its men's basketball program", Krzyzewski said. Around 12 p.m. Maria Taylor, ESPN college basketball reporter, tweeted: "It's a done deal".

Capel, 43, has been the assistant to Mike Krzyzewski for the past seven years after previously coaching Virginia Commonwealth and Oklahoma Universities.

Capel starred at Duke in the mid-1990s and got into coaching in 2000, beginning his career as an assistant for his father Jeff Capel II at Old Dominion. That came in 2009, when he led Oklahoma to the Elite Eight.

Pitt finished this season with a 8-24 record and 0-18 in ACC play. He is the son of Jeff Capel II, who had a distinguished coaching career in the National Basketball Association with the Charlotte Bobcats (2004-11) and Philadelphia 76ers (2011-13), as well as in the college ranks at Wake Forest (1986-89), Fayetteville State (1989-93), North Carolina A&T (1993-94) and Old Dominion (1994-2001).

"Pitt has a great tradition of success and I look forward to putting together a staff and team that will enable us to build on that tradition", Capel said in a statement.

"Jeff Capel is one of the most dynamic coaches in the country", Krzyzewski said. That would be his experience recruiting in the ACC. Capel has been called Duke's most important recruiter, which is quite a title for a program that has landed four 5-star prospects in each of the last four years. Capel was not implicated in the NCAA's findings.

Now, comparing recruiting at Duke and Pitt is a little like contrasting apples and oranges, but still, Capel clearly connects with high school kids and knows the ACC landscape.

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

Now that Pitt has hired Jeff Capel, the question now turns to which players from last year's team will be returning? For now, they'll settle for something resembling a competitive team after the worst season in the program's 113-year history.

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