Pitt hires Duke assistant Capel as basketball coach

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

- Duke Associate Head Coach Jeff Capel will leave Durham to take over the men's basketball program at Pittsburgh, a Duke source told WRAL News Tuesday. Around 12 p.m. Maria Taylor, ESPN college basketball reporter, tweeted: "It's a done deal".

Capel has worked under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke since 2011.

Duke's long-term plan for life after Coach K is now very unclear, but knowing Krzyzewski is going to be the head man for at least a few more years brings short-term stability and allows Duke to continue to chase that sixth national championship since 1991.

Prior to his return to Duke, Capel had successful head coaching stints at the University of Oklahoma (2007-11) and Virginia Commonwealth University (2003-06). Things went south at the end of Capel's tenure at Oklahoma, as the Sooners went 27-36 and missed the NCAA Tournament in two straight seasons. Stallings went 24-41 and finished this season winless in conference play. At VCU, he led the Rams back to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 for the first time in almost a decade. "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'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.

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At Duke, Capel is credited with helping the Blue Devils to their biggest recruiting successes in recent years, including Marvin Bagley, Wendell Carter, Harry Giles and Brandon Ingram.

Capel was not implicated in the investigation and found a landing spot at his alma mater.

He has already been recruiting in the ACC for the past seven years and will likely be just smooth sailing into his new head coaching opportunity.

Now, comparing recruiting at Duke and Pitt is a little like contrasting apples and oranges, but still, Capel clearly connects with high school kids and knows the ACC landscape.

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