Longtime Duke assistant Jeff Capel was named Pitt’s head coach on Tuesday afternoon, and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski discussed Capel’s move shortly after it was announced.
“Pittsburgh just made an amazing hire to lead its men’s basketball program,” Krzyzewski said, according to David Teel of the Daily Press. “Having come from a proud basketball family, Jeff Capel is one of the most dynamic coaches in the country.”
“I want to thank Jeff for being directly by my side for the past seven years and completely committed to our mission at Duke and with USA Basketball,” Krzyzewski continued. “His insight, passion for the game, relationships with our players, and most importantly, his friendship have meant the world to me and my family.”
Capel brings nine years of head coaching experience with him to Pitt, which he acquired at Virginia Commonwealth University from 2002 to 2006 and Oklahoma from 2006 to 2011. He’s also thoroughly familiar with the ACC as a former Duke player and assistant, and his recruiting prowess stood out even among elite recruiters at one of the nation’s blueblood programs.
Pitt’s new head coach also issued a statement with the official announcement of his hire.
“I am honored to be named the head coach of the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball program,” Capel said. “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. As a lifelong Steelers fan, I know Pittsburgh as the City of Champions, and our goal from day one will be to recruit, coach and develop champions on the court, in the classroom and in the community.”
“Duke University and Coach K have had a profound impact on my life,” Capel continued. “I have learned so much about myself, first as a player and then as a coach but most importantly as a man during my time in Durham. The values I have learned from Coach K, his family and his teams will continue to have a significant impact on my career as I look to build on a great tradition here at Pitt.”