Pitt men’s basketball will have the face and leader of their program for another two years.
The university announced this morning that they’ve signed head coach Jeff Capel to a two-year contract extension that would keep him with the program through the 2026-27 season.
In his second year with the Panthers, Capel has a record of 24-23 but his team has already made strides this year by beating Kansas State and Northwestern to win the Fort Myers Tip Off Tournament and beating two quality programs in Rutgers (12-3) and #10 Florida State (13-2).
This was a big move for the university to lock up Capel and it shows that they’ll do what it takes to keep the 44-year old around while he brings the once proud men’s basketball program back to the national spotlight.
“I am grateful for the commitment Chancellor Gallagher and Director of Athletics Heather Lyke have shown to the Pitt Men’s Basketball program and to me. We have outstanding leadership and support at the University of Pittsburgh,” said Capel. “I am excited about the direction of our basketball program as we continue to build a sustainable winning culture in the Atlantic Coast Conference. We will continue to give 100 percent of ourselves as we represent Pitt on the court, in the classroom and in the community.”
“The Pittsburgh community has embraced my family and me and we look forward to deepening our roots here. We are extremely appreciative to be part of the City of Champions.”
This extension is also something that the coaches can sell to future recruits that Capel will be at and will coach you during your time at Pitt. Last week when 2022 5-star guard Jalen Hood-Schifino gave an early commitment to Pitt, he said that his long-term commitment to the Panthers was rock solid as long as Capel was the head coach. Today’s news should be a reassurance to Hood-Schifino and future recruits that Capel isn’t going anywhere.
“In a short time, I have seen Coach Capel and his staff provide Pitt basketball with the opportunity to succeed at the highest level because of their work ethic, basketball acumen and belief in building this program the right way with the right people,” said Lyke. “What has impressed me most with Coach Capel is the genuine relationships he has developed with our student-athletes and he and his staff’s ability to make our student-athletes better players and people. These relationships are an early indicator of the long term success they will have together.”
“Coach Capel believes in setting great expectations and building it the right way to ensure sustained success. There is no question Coach Capel is recruiting the highest level talent and tremendous individuals who will succeed as players and students at Pitt. I have also seen Coach Capel embrace this program and the city of Pittsburg, and our city has embraced him in return. Today I am thrilled to announce an extensions for Coach Capel’s contract through the 2026-27 season and know we are committed to helping him build his legacy at Pitt.”
This is the second Pitt coach this month that Lyke has signed to a long-term extensions, previously inking volleyball coach Dan Fisher to a 7-year deal through the 2026 season.