ACC

Reaction: Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel heading to Pittsburgh

Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel, seen coaching against Wake Forest, has agreed to become the new coach at Pitt.
Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel, seen coaching against Wake Forest, has agreed to become the new coach at Pitt. cliddy@newsobserver.com

In a stunning bit of news late Tuesday morning, word broke that Duke's chief assistant coach, Jeff Capel, will sign a 7-year contract to become the new head coach at Pittsburgh.

Many pundits had long assumed that Capel would step in as head coach at Duke once 71-year-old Mike Krzyzewski retired.

Capel has worked at Duke since 2011, and has been a big part of some of the Blue Devils' biggest recruiting classes since that time. Prior to coming to Durham, Capel was head coach at Oklahoma from 2006-11.

"We are excited to announce Jeff Capel as our head men's basketball coach at the University of Pittsburgh," Pittsburgh athletics director Heather Lyke said in a news release. "Coach Capel is a high-energy leader committed to being a part of our university and the city of Pittsburgh. He has a tremendous basketball pedigree and a strong track record of recruiting, developing and mentoring high-quality student-athletes. His relentless work ethic, passion for the game and clear vision of how to build a program capable of competing at the highest levels in the ACC and on the national stage are impressive. I look forward to our student-athletes, fans, donors and the Oakland Zoo getting to know Coach Capel and his family and watching this program flourish under his direction."

National high school basketball analyst Corey Evans thinks it's a home run hire for Pittsburgh, which fired Kevin Stallings after two seasons. Stallings was 0-19 in ACC play in 2017-18.

Reaction on social media was strong.

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