Report: Capel next Oklahoma coach

Updated: April 11, 2006, 12:05 PM ET
Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma scheduled a Tuesday afternoon news conference to announce the hiring of Jeff Capel III from Virginia Commonwealth as its new head coach.

Capel met with Rams players early Tuesday morning in Richmond, Va. He was not in his office later in the morning. Capel was expected to be introduced at the 3 p.m. CDTl news conference on Oklahoma's campus, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made. first reported the move.

Capel, 31, is 79-41 in four seasons as coach at Virginia Commonwealth and signed a two-year contract extension last month to keep him at the Richmond school through 2012.

Instead, it appears he will replace Kelvin Sampson, who was hired as Indiana's head coach March 29. Sampson was 279-109 in 12 seasons at Oklahoma but, like Capel, came to the Sooners with only one NCAA tournament appearance on his resume.

Capel led Virginia Commonwealth to the Colonial Athletic Association title and an NCAA tournament berth in 2004 and then to the NIT in 2005 -- the school's first consecutive postseason berths since 1985. His Rams finished this season 19-10 and did not make the postseason after losing to Hofstra in the conference tournament quarterfinals.

The signature of his Virginia Commonwealth teams was defense. This season, the Rams allowed 62.4 points per game. On offense, they averaged only 12.5 turnovers and made 7.8 3-pointers per game.

Capel, a strong 3-point shooter himself, started 28 games as a freshman guard on Duke's 1994 team that made it to the NCAA championship game but lost to Arkansas. He graduated in 1997, then played in the Continental Basketball Association and in France before beginning his coaching career as an assistant to his father, Jeff Capel Jr., at Old Dominion.

He moved to Virginia Commonwealth as an assistant in 2001 and became the head coach the following year. At age 27, he was the youngest head coach in Division I at the time.

Capel's father is an assistant for the Charlotte Bobcats.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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