When athletic director Heather Lyke introduced the new men’s basketball coach, it was as if a dark cloud had been lifted from over the Petersen Events Center.
To that point, when Coach Jeff Capel took the stage, you could, in fact, see a glimmer of sunshine, and without question you had an immediate sense that the dark days were over and the Oakland Zoo would soon roar again.
If basketball pedigree was what the doctor ordered, well, the cure has arrived. The son of well-known basketball Coach Jeff Capel II on both the high school, college and pro level, Capel has seen it, heard it and done it a thousand times over.
As a senior at South View High School in Hope Mills, North Carolina, Jeff led his team to the 1993 State Championship. While doing so, he set school career records in points (2,066), rebounds (668) and assists (663). That, ladies and gentlemen, would be your ultimate triple threat man.
At Duke University, he earned the starting position at guard and held it for four years. Following a great career at Duke, he played professionally in France and the CBA.
Capel began his coaching career as an assistant under his father at Old Dominion University. He then joined the coaching staff at Virginia Commonwealth University as an assistant and was promoted to head coach at age 27, making him at the time the youngest men’s coach in Division 1 basketball.
Following a stellar career there, Capel was named head coach of the University of Oklahoma. With the signing of superstar Blake Griffin, they went as far as the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament.
In 2011, Jeff returned to glory by joining the Duke Blue Devils staff, receiving grand reviews as one of the nation’s top recruits and the possible heir apparent to legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
With that enormous wealth of experience, you can see how many consider his hire a major slam dunk and sets the wheels in motion to getting the Pitt basketball program back to national prominence.
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