Pittsburgh Panthers 'committed' to Jeff Capel as men's basketball coach

Jeff Capel will return for another season as Pittsburgh's men's basketball coach, the school announced Friday amid season-long speculation that Capel's job could be in danger.

Capel just finished his fourth season with the Panthers, going 11-21, including 6-14 in ACC play. They lost their final five games, including a 20-point loss to Boston College in the opening round of the ACC tournament Tuesday.

"Coach Capel and I met this afternoon and there is no question we both have great expectations for our men's basketball program," athletic director Heather Lyke said in a statement. "We discussed the path forward for success for this program. We share the disappointment of this past season and expected to be further along in building this program back to a great source of pride for Pitt.

"We are committed to Jeff Capel as our head coach and leader of our team. I am confident Jeff will continue to assess and evaluate every aspect of our program and work tirelessly to continue building it the right way. He and our staff are committed to helping our student-athletes develop the consistency and habits to reach their full potential on and off the court."

Capel was hired in 2018 to replace Kevin Stallings but has yet to finish .500 in any of his four seasons or win more than six ACC games in a season. Capel was one of the elite recruiters nationally during his time as an assistant coach at Duke, but he has found it more difficult to lure top talent to Pitt.

"The support of Heather Lyke, Chancellor Gallagher and loyal Pitt fans is greatly appreciated as we continue to work to bring back a winning culture to Pitt Basketball," Capel said. "My family and I love being a part of the Pittsburgh community and I am extremely proud to be the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh. While I had hoped to have been further along as a program at this point, I remain confident that we will make the adjustments necessary to get there. There is no substitute for hard work.

"We will do what is necessary to be known as a program that will outwork the opposition and compete with a toughness and intensity that is unrivaled. We have the opportunity to turn things around quickly by attacking every aspect of the offseason from player development to recruiting to playing style and coaching philosophy."

Capel's buyout is believed to be in the $15 million range, but Pittsburgh Sports Now reported last month that it drops dramatically after next season.