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Report: Jeff Capel set to be next head coach at Pittsburgh

The Panthers appear to finally have a coach after lengthy search.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

After an underwhelming season, the firing of Kevin Stallings, and an odd search, the Pittsburgh Panthers have apparently found their new men’s basketball leader in Jeff Capel.

Capel is currently an assistant at Duke, where he played from 1993-1997. He was previously an assistant at Old Dominion and VCU before becoming the head coach for the Rams. After leaving VCU, Capel took the head coaching job at Oklahoma in 2006. Capel was with the Sooners until 2011 when he went back to Duke to coach under Krzyzewski. His tenure ended at Oklahoma with a lot of questions after assistant Oronde Taliaferro resigned in the offseason amid rumors of recruiting violations.

As a head coach, Capel has a record of 162-110 (60%), but that’s dragged down by an 0-18 mark in 2009-10 at Oklahoma where 13 regular season wins were vacated because of an ineligible player.

Pitt is coming off of an 0-18 record in ACC play and have had nine current players and two recruits ask for release to transfer. That doesn’t mean they will transfer, and perhaps Capel betting hired will convince them to stay. According to Evan Daniels, the contract is for seven years, giving Capel the vote of confidence and time to turn around the program.

Capel was widely expected to take over the reigns from Coach Krzyzewski whenever he retired from Duke, so more questions have been raised with this latest development.

Pitt was rumored to have been interested in Arizona’s Sean Miller, Rhode Island’s Dan Hurley (now at UConn), Buffalo’s Nate Oats, St. Bonaventure’s Mark Schmidt, and Duke’s other assistant Jon Scheyer before landing on Jeff Capel.

The Hoos played Pitt only once last season, and since they had them twice two seasons ago, will probably only face the Panthers once next year.