Pitt confirms it has hired Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel

247Sports reported Capel agreed to a seven-year contract at Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh is turning to Jeff Capel to turn around its struggling basketball program.

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, a former Duke point guard and the program's lead recruiter since returning in 2011, was widely viewed as the top candidate to eventually succeed Coach Mike Krzyzewski when he retires.

Capel replaces Kevin Stallings, who was sacked earlier this month after two seasons.

The win would have put Duke in its 17th Final Four. "His insight, passion for the game, relationships with our players, and most importantly, his friendship have meant the world to me and my family".

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"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 Pitt press release announcing his hiring Tuesday afternoon.

Acting coach Jeff Capel of the Duke Blue Devils.

The Oklahoma Sooners took on Capel next in the 06-07 season. Capel previously served as head coach at Virginia Commonwealth and Oklahoma, taking both schools to the NCAA Tournament during his tenure.

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. In that time, Capel has also helped secure commitments from 19 McDonald's All-Americans as Duke has signed a top-two class in each of the past five years, including the top class in 2014, 2015 and 2018.

Capel graduated from Duke in 1997 after a distinguished career, including an appearance in the 1994 National Championship game.

The immediate expectations won't be quite as high at Pitt. Nine Panthers players requested a transfer after the season. For now, they'll settle for something resembling a competitive team after the worst season in the program's 113-year history.

  • Lawrence Cooper