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Pitt set to make Duke assistant Jeff Capel head coach

Pitt set to make Duke assistant Jeff Capel head coach

Pitt set to make Duke assistant Jeff Capel head coach

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.

After seven years as the associate head coach at Duke, Jeff Capel agreed to a seven-year deal to take over the downtrodden Pittsburgh basketball program on Tuesday afternoon.

Capel, 43, has worked under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke for the past seven seasons, establishing himself as one of the best recruiters in college basketball.

Capel spent four seasons as head coach at VCU from 2002 to 2006 and five seasons as head coach at Oklahoma from 2006 to 2011, leading the Sooners to a No. 2 national ranking and an Elite Eight appearance in the 2008-09 season.

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It's been almost three weeks since Pitt fired coach Kevin Stallings, after a winless campaign in the ACC made it inevitable. Pittsburgh went 8-24 this past season and 0-18 in ACC play. "I have learned so much about myself, first as a player and then as a coach but most importantly as a man during my time in Durham". "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 owns a 175-110 record as a head coach between his time at VCU and Oklahoma.

Capel's departure is a huge loss for Duke. The Rams qualified for the NCAA tournament in his second season.

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.

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. As great as Jamie Dixon was at Pitt, he landed just two 5-star recruits in his 13 seasons with the Panthers. I'm not sure what makes Capel such a solid recruiter but this definitely makes an impact on both Duke and Kentucky's future recruiting.

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