The University of Pittsburgh’s Mens basketball team has been searching for a coach for 2 weeks. They offered Dan Hurley the position and although it was his most lucrative offer, he declined as he had been eying up the UCONN position for a while. The Fan base became frustrated with the miss, followed by the overall lack of information flowing out of the athletic department. Then Tuesday morning rolls around and the news breaks that Pitt had hired Duke’s top assistant Jeff Capel.
Panther fans, please welcome head coach Jeff Capel!
— Pitt Basketball (@Pitt_MBB) March 27, 2018
“We are excited to announce Jeff Capel as our head men’s basketball coach at the University of Pittsburgh,” said Lyke. “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.”
Capel comes in with a great pedigree as had head coaching experience and success at both VCU then Oklahoma, before that ended with a bit of controversy with probation. He moved to Duke where he has been a part of Coach K’s program and has helped continue his dominance. Coach Capel has had a history of being a great recruiter and here are a handful of the players he has recruited at Duke.
Jeff Capel was the lead recruiter for the following players:
Wendell Carter Jr.
Gary Trent Jr.
— Duke Hoops (@DukeBlueHoops) March 27, 2018
He was one of the 7 or 8 coaches I pointed out in my first post.
In no way am I claiming anything, but I pointed out in the post that AD Heather Lyke was faced with a critical hire and one she could not swing and miss on. She needed to make a splash. For my money, this is as big a name as Hurley and actually when you look at their accomplishments, Capel has done more.
I believe this is a hire Pitt fans will be thrilled with and one that the recruits that are there will embrace. Here is some of what the Twittersphere is saying. First is Paul Zeise, who is a local writer and an opinion in basketball I value as much as any major outlet.
I'm not saying it is guaranteed to work and Pitt is going to win multiple ACC championships, none of them are guaranteed. But in terms of the profile of a coach that Pitt needed to hire and realistically could hire, I'm not sure they could have done better.
— Paul Zeise (@PaulZeise) March 27, 2018
I like this hire! https://t.co/vzmQ04grew
— Bradley Wanamaker (@phillybul_22) March 27, 2018
You can not hire a better recruiter with head coaching experience than Jeff Capel
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) March 27, 2018
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) March 27, 2018