Pitt’s Jeff Capel Named to Naismith Coach of the Year Watch List
In the midst of his best single season leading the Pitt program, Panthers’ head coach Jeff Capel has started to receive national attention for the job he has done in Pittsburgh.
On Friday, Capel was named one of the 15 Naismith Coach of the Year Award late-season finalists by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Capel’s Panthers are currently 19-7 on the year, and have already won a program-best 12 ACC games this year. Pitt is firmly in the discussion for an NCAA Tournament bid according to most bracketologists, and is on the cusp of earning its first AP Top 25 ranking in years.
Pitt is in the midst of its best season since 2015-16, when the Panthers finished 21-12 in Jamie Dixon’s final season at the helm. Capel holds a 70-76 (.479) record in his four+ seasons leading Pitt.
Along with Capel, Randy Bennett (St. Mary’s), Chris Collins (Northwestern), Mick Cronin (UCLA), Dennis Gates (Mizzou), Pat Kelsey (Charleston), Dusty May (FAU), Sean Miller (Xavier), Nate Oats (Alabama), TJ Otzelberger (Iowa State), Matt Painter (Purdue), Kelvin Sampson (Houston), Shaka Smart (Marquette), Jerome Tang (Kansas State), and Rodney Terry (Texas) are on the list of finalists.