Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel is Georgia Tech’s leading candidate to replace Brian Gregory, according to a report from WSB-TV.
Capel has been an assistant to coach Mike Krzyzewski for the past five years, earning the title associate head coach in 2012. Prior to that, he was head coach at VCU for four seasons and Oklahoma for five. He had a 175-110 record including three NCAA tournament appearances. When he became head coach at VCU, he was 27, the youngest in Division I at the time. He played for Krzyzewski, graduating from Duke in 1997.
As a Duke assistant, he has helped bring in a series of noteworthy recruits, including Jabari Parker, Justise Winslow and Jahlil Okafor, all NBA lottery picks. He also recruited Blake Griffin, the first pick of the 2009 draft, to Oklahoma.
Capel was a candidate last year for an opening at Arizona State, but withdrew, which Krzyzewski called a “huge plus” for the team. While Capel is thought to be the successor for Krzyzewski upon his retirement, both Capel and Krzyzewski have spoken about the former ultimately leaving Duke.
“Jeff is savvy, and he is a (heck) of a coach,” Krzyzewski said last April. “But I mean, Jeff is a head coach. He’ll get something great.”
Capel told KFOR-TV in Oklahoma last week that “I feel like I’ll have that opportunity (to be a head coach again) at some point. And I think I’ll be better. I thought I was a good head coach before. I had two bad years. Again, that was my responsibility but, again, I feel like I’ve grown from that. I will make sure the next time that it’s the right decision for me and my family. And that’s really, really important to me and for me. It has to be the perfect situation because I’m in such a great situation right now.”
At Oklahoma, Capel was 69-33 in his first three seasons before the Sooners went 27-36 in his final two seasons, 2009-10 and 2010-11. All 13 wins in the 2009-10 season were vacated for playing an ineligible player. The NCAA and Oklahoma found that Capel was not aware of the incident that led to the player becoming ineligible – it involved a $3,000 loan from a financial adviser to a bank account held by the player and his mother – and promoted an atmosphere of compliance.
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