Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Jeff Capel leaving Duke to coach Pitt



Ready for some surprising coaching news that may end up being great for Kentucky? Jeff Capel, Duke’s associate head coach and primary recruiter, has agreed to become the next head coach at Pitt, according to Evan Daniels.

Capel was the head coach at Oklahoma from 2006 to 2011, when he was fired amid NCAA violations (although he was not implicated). From there, he joined Coach K’s staff as the associate head coach and it’s not a coincidence that Duke started landing all the elite one-and-dones. To put it lightly, this could be a major blow to Duke’s recruiting mojo.

John Calipari right now, probably:

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

33 Comments for Jeff Capel leaving Duke to coach Pitt

  1. Chacosrule
    12:06 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    Hire Coach O today!

  2. Rabbi Li
    12:11 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    Yea, we weren’t getting beat by Jeff Capel.

    Tony Barbee was making it possible to lose recruits that UK once got.

    • Mathlete
      12:15 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      Capel’s reputation as a “recruiter” (aka bag man) is pretty well known. This badly hurts Duke’s chances at the top players going forward

    • RealCatsFan
      12:26 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      Let’s bring back Antigua as special assistant to Cal and get this recruiting train rolling again.

  3. Rod Crandler
    12:15 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    And then go back after Zion. Paperwork not signed yet. Let’s treat this like football commits.

    • Catlogic15
      2:26 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      I like this thinking.

    • ClutchCargo
      3:58 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      That was my very first thought.

  4. Jiminy Crickets
    12:22 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    Call me whatever, Jeff Capel is not the reason they landed recruits. They will replace him, and bring in the next duffel bag guy. It’s not like he was acting on his own

    • RealCatsFan
      12:25 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      Yep, you are absolutely correct, sir. The real reason they get their recruits is that Count K is a 400-year-old vampire. As soon as a recruit looks into his beady black eyes, he steals their soul for eternity. Resist, EJ!

    • Cokely53
      12:29 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      But you have to admit their recruiting significantly increased when Capel got there and he’s been known to attract big recruits ala Blake griffin in his Oklahoma days. 2 and 2 together….

    • TBW3011
      1:13 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      Then why did recruiting significantly change the day he was hired?

    • Jiminy Crickets
      3:05 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      It didn’t change the day he was hired. 2009 they had Austin rivers, 2010 Kylie Irving. Chapel was hired in 2011 and his first class best player was Amelie Jefferson. It wasn’t until 2012, that Duke switched to the OAD platform and it started with Jabari Parker. They then went full on OAD with oakafor, tyus young, and Winslow. And they won the title.

      It was 3 years after he was hired that they recruiting upswing started. 2012 is also when coach K made himself a God with Team USA.
      Capel was decent recruiter, but let’s not pretend Duke just suddenly got good when he came there

    • Jiminy Crickets
      3:09 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      The okafor, young, Winslow was the 2014 class.

  5. RealCatsFan
    12:23 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    Is he taking his duffel bags with him? If so, I doubt if they will be stuffed with dirty socks. 🙂

  6. Han
    12:36 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    Well, if he is doing anything untoward in recruiting, he won’t get away with it at Pitt without the protection of K at Duke.

  7. krautdog
    12:41 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    Now who’s going to make the payments?

  8. az1006
    12:48 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t know if Capel is paying guys or whatever…I know there’s been rumors about it for a long time, but nothing to really substantiate it, so I’m not going there. However, there’s no question Duke’s recruiting prowess significantly improved once he arrived there, so I don’t think that’s coincidence. He’s an excellent recruiter and it will be a blow to Duke (assuming we can improve our recruiting by getting Barbee out and bringing back Coach O).

  9. Sentient Third Eye
    12:56 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    I definitely suspect Coach K “encouraged” Capel to take another job once he knew shady recruiting was under new scrutiny nation-wide. Capel was a liability that could have destroyed K’s legacy, but now he was “just an assistant who used to coach here for a while”. Once national media figures labeled Duke as dirty, this became inevitable.

    I feel sorry for Pitt in a few years. It took Mizzou a decade to recover from Capel’s corruption.

    • rabblerabblerabble
      1:17 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink


  10. dballrb
    1:39 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    Everything that’s being said about Capel,can be reversed and be coach O..I like the guy,he can recruit,but he did get run out of town at USF amid corruption allegations.

    • Rembrandt
      2:13 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      Since Orlando Antigua left UK, he hasn’t been a factor in a significant signing (that would get a UK fan’s attention) at USF or Illinois. Plus, he was fired from USF under bad circumstances. So it’s time for all these people who are crying for Antigua to return to rwally think it through and ask themselves whether perhaps they might be selling our current coaches a little short. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and honestly we typically don’t see a whole lot of substantive insight on these threads.

    • Bourbon and Blue
      2:36 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      Thank you. I am glad somebody else is saying it.

    • runningunnin.454
      2:59 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      Have any details about Antigua being dirty? His brother resigned because he provided two recruits with housing worth $400-$500. He also arranged for a couple of players to be tutored which resulted in possible sanctions.
      Got that; after 20 years of academic fraud at UNCheat, the NCAA investigated another school for academic fraud…over tutors.
      Orlando was not implicated in any of the so-called improprieties, and U. of Illinois said they vetted him extensively, and found no problems.

    • ClutchCargo
      3:26 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      Why is Capel getting hired at Pitt a reason to start talking about Antigua back to UK? What am I missing? There isn’t even an opening on UK’s staff right now.

  11. Jiminy Crickets
    3:15 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    No one on KSR will admit it, but the down turn in UK recruiting had little to nothing to do with Duke or Capel.
    UK was listed as clear leader in recruiting for Zion, and Cam Reddish. Many thought Reddish would be the first commit of the class. But then….,Calipari took Team USA U19. News started surfacing Romeo Langford clashed with him, because he was playing behind Diallo. Calipari brought his entire recruiting class in (Knox eventually left) and played Washington and Diallo over them. Bolbol voiced anger, and so did mamba. But the worst was when he took that hand picked roster and LOST. First USA U19 loss in 16 years. As soon as it was over, all the clear leaders went somewhere else, and Fuke and the Team USA head coach stood and laughed when they came running to them.

    But we can blame Capel for paying players, that makes us feel better

    • BlakeBlueNation
      3:26 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      I agree with this to an extent. It was a mistake on Cals part not picking a Bol Bol to join the team. But if you watched the games and stuff Diallo looked better than Romeo Langford. I don’t know how Cam Reddish fell through, that was rough. But Zion picking duke was solely because he wants a Championship and he believes duke will provide that opportunity better than Kentucky, however depending on who comes back that may not be the case.

    • catsarerunnin
      3:47 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

      Yes I’m sure your rights Crickets. Hopefully one day we can return to the top 5 in recruiting….

  12. UKantstopus
    4:44 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    Maybe K will bring in Greg Paulus from ul’s staff… Or I hear Andre Magee is available…

    • 270to859
      1:58 pm March 28, 2018 Permalink

      best comment i’ve seen on this site in a while

  13. makeitstop
    4:45 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    Lest we forget, the guy who destroyed the US squad committed to whom? Duke. They have been handing us our butts lately recruiting, so glad to break that up. I agree w whoever said K probably nudged Capel out though, it just looks suspect to get 1,2 and 3 cleanly. Maybe but it looks like dealing from the bottom of the deck and all coach K has is his “character allegory” to sell – it sure isn’t developing NBA ready big men lately.

  14. gasman01
    5:56 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    Curious to see how long before Pitt gets NCAA sanctions due to Capel. Dude is trouble…

  15. TonyMontana
    6:22 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    Some have mentioned the travesty of the U19 USA Team… well dont forget the next travesty after that was being the only Nike School to not play at the Nike competition. These Shoe companies are huge and we snubbed Nike big time. I dont know what effect it had, but it certainly didnt help. Bol Bol was 100% Kentucky, Shaq’s kid was 100% Kentucky. There were plenty of kids would have signed with us, we were their Dream School… LITERALLY…. but we blew it. They didnt get stole from us, we just dropped the ball. But of course, like everybody else commenting here…. none of us really have any idea what is going on behind the scenes.

  16. UKfanman01
    8:12 pm March 27, 2018 Permalink

    Capel cheats. It’s well known and the NCAA strays away from him on purpose.
    I also live to hear UK fans cry about losing recruits to Duke. Duke has sucked the last 2 years. It’s obvious the players that go there put no thought into their choices as K is failed miserably at producing one and dones, and making any progress with success.
    Who exactly have we missed out on? The ONLY player I was bummed Cal didn’t get in the last 2 years was Jarret Allen who went to Texas, not Duke. Wendell Carter is good, but it was obvious he was Duke bound. What about Bolden? I didn’t want him to begin with and he turned out awesome didnt he?
    What about Bagley? He’s a phenomenal player but if he came to UK the NCAA would’ve knocked on Cal and UK’s front door and an investigation would’ve ensued. He wasn’t eligible this year.