Monday, March 14, 2011

Oklahoma fires men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel

Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel lays into an official during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla. Capel received a technical for the outburst.

Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel lays into an official during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla. Capel received a technical for the outburst.


Oklahoma has fired men's basketball coach Jeff Capel, according to The Oklahoman's website,

Capel leaves OU after five seasons, where he posted a 96-69 record.

According to The Oklahoman, Capel's buyout is expected to be between $2 million and $3 million.


kcglowboy 8 years, 9 months ago

Wow. That's a shocker. Can't wait to hear their reasons. He's had a fair amount of success and one bad season. If a coach is fired for one bad season, it's going to make it tough to convince good candidates to come to Norman.

bayareajhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Really? I expected this one. They have gone straight down since Griffin left. OU needed to act.

Dyrk Dugan 8 years, 9 months ago

recruiting looked pretty weak. Griffin made him look great..and not so great after he left.

the world of big time college athletics these now, and don't get continually beat by your rival....(Texas in this case.) or you're gone. another Dukie goes down.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 9 months ago

This year they were awful because they had very little talent.

Last year however is when Capel earned the bulk of his firing. He couldn't win with Willie Warren, Tiny Gallon, that arrogant little point-gaurd, or the Lavender kid that came in from Xavier.

He had a Calipari-esque roster, and had a horribly dissappointing season... That put him at a crux going into a season where he very little to work with. A recipe for disaster for a sub-par coach in a big boy's league.

Chris Nieto 8 years, 9 months ago

Drew Lavender definitely transferred from Oklahoma when they were coached by Sampson to Xavier.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 9 months ago

yeah, thanks for the correction. I was remembering that wrong.

Andrew Dunlap 8 years, 9 months ago

the problem with OU basketball is OU football. They have had a lot of good coaches, Billy Tubbs, Dave Bliss, Sampson, but there is no commitment by the school, alumni or boosters. They have an aging arena, up and down recruiting and no long term vision for their program. Capel will be better off at a school where baskeball is appreciated

Carter Patterson 8 years, 9 months ago

Billy G is going to be one very well paid coach next season. I hope he gets a job before Arkie hires Andersen from Columbia MethZoo.

Jacobpaul81 8 years, 9 months ago

Anderson has said repeatedly that he is not leaving Missouri. I hope that's true. He's fun to play against.

KGphoto 8 years, 9 months ago

"I'm not leaving, I'm not leaving" = "I'm leaving"

Repeatedly committing to stay is the kiss of death. I could definitely see him going SEC pretty soon.

Tim Bingaman 8 years, 9 months ago

Totally agree! Gots to have great teams and coaches in the conference, or else you are in the Conference USA.

JayDocMD 8 years, 9 months ago

I think Anderson would normally jump to Ark but won't leave his best friends son (Pressey) hanging.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 9 months ago

Well, as a life-long OU fan, this gives me mixed emotions. I can remember when the people in Norman did not know that they even made balls that did not have "points" on the ends, football has been a religion there for as long as I can remember.

The basketball team used to regularly lose games to OCU (a Methodist school, ) Bethany Lutheran, Cameron College, Oklahoma College for Women at Chickasha and Central State (now Central Oklahoma). The rise of basketball at OU has only been fairly recent.

OU has had a long list of fairly successful coaches, Dave Bliss, everyone remembers Billy Tubbs, and now Coach Capel. I hope they find a new coach that can get a team together that the football team can be proud of. It is gonna be tough to function in Bob Stoops' shadow.

terpoortenl 8 years, 9 months ago

Gillispie got himself in trouble with all his DUI.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, Raster "Kelvin Sampson" Old age and failing memory, my bad. Thanks!

leonard 8 years, 9 months ago

At first I took you serious...till you decided that their success in basketball is only recent...even when referencing the success of Dave Bliss in the 1970's. Man you're really old if you think that's recent.

I also looked up your claims about those schools routinely drubbing OU...found that to be pure fiction. They have never played Oklahoma Christian or Cameron College, They haven't played Bethany since 1931 and haven't played Central Oklahoma since 1920.

waywardJay 8 years, 9 months ago

Until you look under Oklahoma CITY College, You know the one that Carl Henry Transferred from.... Which has an ok record against the SOoners....Especially considering it was essentially a ju-co. There also might not be record of Bethany or Cnetral Oklahoma because of Exhibition status.... You know like Syracuse doesn't officially list their last year loss to Lemoyne all though we all knew it happened.

As to the Sooners, there is some talent there, just not enough.... and what was coached was not coached extremely well last season. There is plenty of reason to think the Sooners Could make a Buffalo-esque jump this year based on talent. You will still have PLedger, Newell, and Cameron Clark. Those are all potentially good players next year for Oklahoma.

The key is finding a Great.... GREAT Coach to mentor them. Norm Roberts ? Gillespie ? A few Names to avoid ... Bruce Weber ( he will have an exorcism for Capel.... ), Mark Few ( i'm not bagging on his recruiting in Spokane but seriously.... he shouldn't be running 4th in the WCC with the best talent in the conference ) and Rick Barnes ( not that I would ever expect a Sooner coach to be a former longhorn but I thik you'd have better luck coaching talent with Mack Brown than Rick Barnes. )

Jock Navels 8 years, 9 months ago

oklahoma city college, coached by the great abe lemons was at one time a very powerful basketball program...the equal of a louisville today.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years, 9 months ago

Yes, Leonard, I am really old. I graduated from Oklahoma City UNIVERSITY in 1966, Abe Lemmons had been coach there at that time, the only player I can remember is Bud Koper and his 45 point game and a 7 foot guy who's name I think was Eddie Jackson. Our basketball team OCU Chiefs, (before the Oklahoma Methodist Bishops got politically correct and changed the name of the team to the "Stars") was pretty good, played in a number or tournaments. My spiel about OU's past (or recent) basketball lack of much success was a diatriabe, facts streched, and imagined. They were, to put it simply and without rambling, not too good back then.

Tim Bingaman 8 years, 9 months ago

Agreed that you can hate UK more due to the way they treat quality coaches. (I will never get over the way that UNC treated Doherty... and then for Roy to drive him over on his baby-blue chariot was reprehensible! He was your guy... have some dag-gum loyalty, ROY!)

On Gillespie: Not to go all TMZ on you, but I live in UK country and the word is that Billy went out and got falling down drunk a lot... during the season, no less. Certainly no role model, but more importantly - no work ethic. If KU was losing and Self was out drinking instead of studying tape or working with his team, he would be in hot water too... just saying!

I agree that Billy is a heck of a talent, but the dude needs to be focused on coaching before he is a truly successful. Lots of people have talent.

Rock Chalk!

Gregor Southard 8 years, 9 months ago

UK fans make the Antlers look classy. ( I live in Tennessee) Don't take their word for it. Nevertheless, its been two years since his DUI. There was a great article on him on Yahoo recently. Check it out. Gillespi as OU would be a threat.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 9 months ago

Roy wasn't handed the keys until long after Doherty drove the 'chariot' over the cliff.

Benjamin Piehler 8 years, 9 months ago

id love to know how he got griffin to chose OU....

jay381 8 years, 9 months ago

Simple, Samson already had his brother on the team when Capel arrived.

Dan Cook 8 years, 9 months ago

Yep. Had Sampson stayed, Blake would not have gone to OU. They were not fond of Kelvin.

RockChalkGuy 8 years, 9 months ago

Blake grew up in love with OU. All OU had to do was offer.

Dan Cook 8 years, 9 months ago

Wrong. See above. He would not have gone to OU had Sampson been there.

Spencer Goff 8 years, 9 months ago

I've heard tales to this effect too, that they were not happy with Sampson. I have also heard that we pretty much had him locked up until Capel arrived and schmoozed him.

Also, not to brag, but I'm 3-for-3 so far in the coaching firings. Pelphrey, Knight, and now Capel. Ford is also on the hot seat and I highly suspect that Mike Anderson is gone and is only spewing rhetoric right now to try and at least get a win or two out of these guys in the tournament.

And I bet Gillespie goes to OU, not Tech. With those dollars, his coaching and recruiting, they are going to be good very soon. Which makes me kinda hope he stays away.

KU_alum_2001 8 years, 9 months ago

Well it's no surprise that word out there is that Duke is now going after DeAndre Daniels. Yes, unrelated to Capel but I figured people might look to this article for possible recruiting news (ie. prospects from OU). Son of a....

KU thus far only has one recruit in 2011 and 2012. I was counting on Daniels to come in and help TRob with both twins possibly gone. Duke entering the picture is not going to help. God I hate those guys!

Chris Shaw 8 years, 9 months ago

As I posted on the other thread, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

okiedave 8 years, 9 months ago

Hawkinator -- Griffen was a local OU kid who dreamed of playing for OU. Also, I think Sampson recruited Griffen. Capel is really a pretty good coach. Capel just has not been given sufficient time to overcome the stigma of the Sampson NCAA issues. OU has alwasys be a notch or two below Kansas, they just need to accept it.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 9 months ago

No, Capel recruited Griffin. Sampson recruited his older brother Taylor Griffin.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 9 months ago

I wonder if Billy G will able to steal Glenn Cyprien away from Pastner at Memphis if Gillespie does indeed take the OU job. Cyprien is one of the best recruiters in the country and has been on Billy G's staff at both A&M and Kentucky and is currently at Memphis.

Jayhawk444 8 years, 9 months ago

If Billy Clyde is smart, he is playing the same game that Huggins did while he was between jobs. He is not bound by NCAA recruiting rules, so he can be doing pretty much anything he wants in contacting kids and recruiting them to "wherever I coach next year." He'll have a nice recruiting class that follows him wherever he goes.

jay381 8 years, 9 months ago

I lived in Oklahoma for over 10 years and still have a lot of friends that are OU Alums. This was NOT a surprise at all. Capel was not a good fit from day one. Even at his opening press conference he gave the “Dukie” attitude of superiority and we will do it the Duke way. Love them or hate them Dave Bliss, John MacLeod, Kelvin Samson and Billy Tubbs did play exciting basketball and had a good record for a football school. Capel gave the impression of looking down his nose at the program and it was only a stop gap until the Duke job opened. He cancelled the OU tip off night (Late Night) because he saw no reason to waste a scrimmage just for the fans and Duke never held one. The attendance is at an all time low. His W-L record is like the worst in over 30 years. He recruited a bunch of thugs that were nothing but problems both on and off the court the past two years. There is also a definite potential NCAA violation of Tiny Gallion and an agent with some illegal payments and money transfers. His early success really can be attributed to Samson who despite his phone problems left the OU program in good condition and a top tier recruiting class (the top 3 transferred and started at other top tier schools including one to TX and one to Villanova). Griffin was technically his recruit by Capel but it was Samson that laid the groundwork by already having his older brother on the team. I talked to a booster and OU Alum about an hour ago and his comment was well it is about time and I hope Billy Gillespie is still available at least he is from TX. No not a surprise.

Kye Clark 8 years, 9 months ago

A bit surprising. I had speculated that Tech might/should go after Gillispie, and I now wonder if OU making this move is meant to leap frog Tech and inquire as to his services. OU is a much better job than Tech. Of course this is all predicated on schools falling over themselves for a coach two years removed from the game without a Final Four on his resume, but I think he's the best out there right now. Regardless I'd love to have Gillispie back in the conference. Not long ago I ranked the league's coaches and pointed out just how anemic the prestige level is after getting past Coach Self. Getting another capable coach into the conference would be a very good moving forward as a 10 team league.

Kye Clark 8 years, 9 months ago

Why? Look I like Turgeon, but what has he really accomplished? No Final Fours. No league titles. The level of talent there has progressively gotten worse since Gillispie left. Sadly I think Turgeon has maxed out his ceiling. He's a good coach. A respectable coach. But he's no one that anybody talks about on a national level. And that's what I'm talking about. A successful brand. And you don't have to have a National Title to have that level of prestige (although it certainly helps). Roy Williams had it even before he left for Carolina. Ben Howland has it. Jamie Dixon. You can go to every other major conference and pick out 2 coaches with a higher level of prestige than Bill Self and anyone else in the Big 12, because there is no one else to pair with him that has that level of standing.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 9 months ago

I said that same things about Turgeon as soon as people started saying that they want Turgeon to be KUs next head coach. He hasn't proven yet that he can recruit top talent to Texas A&M, so I don't believe that he could win in recruiting at KU against Coach Cal, Coach K, Roy, Izzo, Matta, Howland, Barnes, Calhoun, Donovan, and the list goes on.

He's a great Xs and Os guy. A great basketball strategist and he gets a lot out of his players. But you need the right players in order to win championships.

Bill Self brings in the right mix of 5 star recruits and 4 and 5 year players.

jay381 8 years, 9 months ago

I just streamed the oldest and most listened to sports radio station in OKC. The “Dean” (over 30 years on the radio) of sports broadcasters was imploring Joe C to make a strong pitch to Tadd Boyle. OU is a heck of a lot better job than CU with a lot more resources and they are not moving to the Pac 10. That would be yet another KU former player or assistant in demand with a background to Larry Brown. It would make total sense to me. The word there is that President David Boren would not accept the baggage of Billy G. There is absolutely no one in Oklahoma that would cross David Boren if he said no. His idea of a coach is something like Bob Stoops with a clean program and a good positive image for the university.

Jayhawk444 8 years, 9 months ago

Interesting, but Tad is a local boy at CU. It's his dream job (other than maybe Kansas). I don't see him leaving there. Plus he might actually be relieved they are moving to the Pac12 so he won't have to play his alma mater twice every year.

Spencer Goff 8 years, 9 months ago

And to be truthful, looking over the Pac 10 talent level, they could have possibly won that conference this season. At the very least finished second or third and not been headed to the NIT. So he is in a good spot either way.

Chris Bruning 8 years, 9 months ago

suprising to me, i thought he was a pretty good coach. don't forget the bad luck he had with his last two big fish he reeled in. tommy mason and tiny gallon. couple of losers, who could play ball pretty good

mikehawk 8 years, 9 months ago

The problem with OU is that it is and always will be a football school. That doesn't mean they can't attract a Billie Gillispie, as he did quite well with little pressure at Texas A&M. It actually would be a great fit for him, but it remains to be seen if he would settle for an OU. They have fabulous resources, a great AD, and great school president who can raise money like no one else. There is no where to go but up for that program so it will appeal to many. Right now, you have to compete for filled seats against the Thunder, which is hurting the gate at both OU and OSU.

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

Jeff won 58% of his games at OU.

I never will forget seeing RR punked out into the shadows beyond the baseline by one of Capel's boys.

Good-bye, Jeff, and take your Coach Consonants-style cheap shotting with you as you leave.

I think everyone may be missing a possible long shot scenario for the OU job:

LB with Billie G as his assistant.

I think that's why they were sitting together at the Field House.

No one will hire Brown alone, because he's too old to recruit and too likely to leave too soon to create continuity.

No one will hire Billie G, because of his reputed DUIs.

But together they are a great package for some one.

Larry is the salt. Billie G is the pepper.

Larry furnishes his rep and his "do it the right way" routine.

Billie G furnishes the talent from south of the Red River.

Larry promises to do for OU, what he did for KU. Kind of as a favor to OU to pay them back for having beaten them in '88.

Billie G promises he has reformed and if he proves to have reformed, then he becomes the head coach in four years when LB steps down after a ring.

Brown gets to compete head to head against Bill Self--the only guy in college basketball that Brown would still get juiced about beating.

This dog would hunt in Norman.

Boren would put OU back on the basketball map immediately.

BCRavenJHawkfan 8 years, 9 months ago

Very perceptive there jaubate.

In fact, down here in Red Raider land the talk was getting amped up that Texas Tech was going to make overtures to Billy and that Larry was simply making the rounds visiting with various AD's talking up Billy's resume.

But, who knows.

Woody Cragg 8 years, 9 months ago

Might have to reduce the lower level prices or decrease the cost of beer (if allowed). Makeup is too expensive-that's what the beer is for! LOL

Woody Cragg 8 years, 9 months ago

Respectfully disagree JB. Many schools come to mind that would hire Biily G. Look what Louisville has. Look what Ky has. Look at UConn & OSU & the list goes on & on. Whatsa couple of DUI's? Hell, he don't have to drive the bus. Now LB, diff story. May check into Sunrise Towers any day. I'll bet he gets a dandy SS check, ya think? In all honesty I hope they elevate the program as I believe those guys quit on Capel this year like the scums at misery quit on Mike A. He's waaaaaay to classy to stay at fizzou anyway. Good luck to all those long as they're anywhere cept cottonball U.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 9 months ago

I thought he had a decent turnaround during the year from preseason projections, tho maybe there were other issues as mentioned above.

Jaybate - While an interesting scenario, I have a hard time imagining Larry going to OU and coaching against KU on a regular basis. Billy G yes, but not Larry.

phogphanatic89 8 years, 9 months ago

OU should go after Terry Evans, former starter for Tubbs who has done a great job turning the UCO Bronco's into a DII power

Justin LoBurgio 8 years, 9 months ago

Capel should send a thank you letter to Kelvin Sampson. The mess at OU is entirelynhis fault

jay381 8 years, 9 months ago

I respectfully disagree. I lived in OKC for several years. Samson committed unauthorized texting to recruits and player violations. However the penalties enacted on OU for a first violation were minimal. His real problem was he accepted the Indiana job and continued to do the same thing after he had been admonished by the NCAA. Indiana and Samson personally ended up with the bulk of the punishment. He left a good supply of talent and one of the top ten ranked recruiting classes. Three high quality kids never played a minute at OU after their re recruiting visit by Capel. Samson also had already recruited the older Griffin brother and he was already a sophmore. The brothers not only wanted to play together, Blake stayed for his brother’s senior year to play with him. Capel started off with record like 23-11, and 30-6. He began recruiting poor quality athletes with less than stellar personal backgrounds (in short thugs). His last two years were the collective worse in what I now understand from friends in OKC in 40 plus years. The problems were not created by Samson or his ridiculous abuse of texting. Few coaches have the talent left by anyone Capel inherited.

haydenhawkco 8 years, 9 months ago

Paging Mr Morrill...Mr Stew Morrill.....Coach Stew Morrill please report to Norman, OK.

sava12 8 years, 9 months ago

Not a bad guess but Morrill has strong ties to know...strong religious ties. He's at home. Look for Pastner out of Memphis.

KU_FanSince75 8 years, 9 months ago

A little surprised here because of Capel's record. At the same time, a lot of you have made fairly sound, logical points above stating why he was fired. If they get a half-way decent coach, my first thought was, "damn, there goes AFH South!"

KGphoto 8 years, 9 months ago

sava12, Pastner was my guess too. Great recruiter. Great image. Great coach? Well he couldn't be much worse.

If Anderson bails, I could see Pastner at MU too. He already looks like a more competent, less arrogant version of Quin Snyder.

cobweb 8 years, 9 months ago

He deserved to be fired. Capel knew the recruiting had to be squeaky clean after the Kelvin Sampson mess and yet screwed up anyway. Forget Gillispie. Three DWIs won't cut it this time in Norman. OU is a mediocre job with a crummy building and competing with the Thunder and OU football. They will hire an assistant or an old guy looking for one last shot. They think they are going to hire the Marquette coach. In your dreams!

KGphoto 8 years, 9 months ago

Another dead branch on the Indiana/Duke, Bobby Knight/Coach K tree.

-Jeff Capel: Ahem. Done.

-Mike Davis: Don't get me started.

-Tommy Amaker: NIT guy. Can't hold a major coaching position. Harvard? Really?

-Johnny Dawkins: Stanford is off the NCAA map since his arrival. He is single handedly killing the Stanford men's basketball program.

-Quin Snyder: A few good seasons at Mizzou. Will probably be most remembered for his record against Kansas. Fell away and "mysteriously" resigned. Must have been that Duke personality. Currently a career NBA assistant.

-Dave Henderson: fired from Deleware after one season (9-21)

-Bob Bender: Illinois St .500 (Jankovich is posting 20 win seasons) Fired from Washington with a .500 record. Now he's a career NBA assistant.

-Isaiah Thomas: Pff.

-Steve Alford: New Mexico is pretty good. But was a .500 coach at Iowa and he fires vulgar comments to the opposing team's players during the post game handshake. Wonder where he picked that up? He's a mid-major coach, and he'll never coach an Elite 8 team.

-Mike Brey is the exception. He's good, but he's the lone surviving branch.

Who'd I miss?

REHawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Certainly would boost Big 12 strength if Billy G. returned to the league, wherever. I don't know how his legal battle turned out regarding Kentucky non-contract, but imagine that it is still alive and kicking. Wherever he ends up soon, I would expect him to nail down contract details before allowing himself again to be subjected to a financial debacle.

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