A sesimic movement was announced today in the college basketball coaching landscape.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced two staff changes on Sunday as former Blue Devil Jeff Capel joins the staff as an assistant coach and Nate James is named special assistant.
Capel returns to Duke after spending the previous nine years as the head coach at Virginia Commonwealth (2002-06) and Oklahoma (2006-11), while James has been an assistant coach at Duke for the past three seasons.
“We are excited to have Jeff joining our staff,” said Krzyzewski. “He is an outstanding coach and will be a great fit in our program. Jeff has been a highly successful head coach at the Division I level and he will continue that here at Duke. Adding a coach of his caliber will make everyone in our program better.”
Capel owns a 175-110 record as a head coach with three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 2008 with Oklahoma. He was fired after this past season in which the Sooners finished with a 14-18 record.
He began his coaching career as an assistant coach under his father, Jeff Capel II, at Old Dominion University for the 2000–2001 season. In 2001, he joined the coaching staff at Virginia Commonwealth as an assistant and was promoted to head coach of the Rams for the 2002–2003 season—making him, at the time, the youngest head coach in Division I men’s college basketball (27 years old). After compiling a 79-41 record and four straight winning seasons at VCU, Capel became the head coach at Oklahoma prior to the 2006-07 season.
He led the Sooners to a 96-69 record overall with two NCAA Tournament trips (2008 & 2009) and was a major factor in the recruitment and development of 2009 National Player of the Year Blake Griffin. Griffin would go on to become the first player from Oklahoma to be selected No. 1 in the NBA Draft, the 2011 NBA Rookie of the Year and the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk champion.
Following his graduation from Duke, Capel played professional basketball for two years in France and the CBA. Capel was also drafted in 1997 by the Raleigh Cougars of the USBL.
As an assistant coach for the past three years, James has helped the Blue Devils to a 95-17 record with three ACC Tournament titles and the 2010 NCAA Championship. Although his new role will not include on-court coaching, he will continue to assist the staff in developing game strategies, breaking down game film and planning practices and contributing in staff meetings.
The Duke basketball staff now features four former players that were team captains during their respective careers in Durham . The foursome of Steve Wojciechowski, Chris Collins, Jeff Capel and Nate James combined to score 4,495 points and win 375 games as players at Duke.Follow paulmbanks