Jeff Capel enters his third season at the University of Pittsburgh after being announced as the 16th men’s basketball head coach in program history March 28, 2018. Capel owns a 192-136 record as a head coach at VCU and Oklahoma with three NCAA Tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight trip with Oklahoma in 2008.
Last season, Capel guided a team featuring one of the least experienced rosters in the NCAA (319th overall) to a 16-17 record overall. The Panthers doubled their conference win total from the previous season, including a season-opening win over 2020 ACC Champion Florida State and a season sweep over North Carolina. Four of the top five scorers were underclassman with Justin Champagnie becoming the first freshman since Charles Smith (1984-85) to lead the team in scoring and rebounds. Pitt ranked in the top 25 nationally in turnover margin and continued to establish an identity based on toughness, competitiveness and fight.
Capel led Pitt to an eight-game improvement in his first season guiding the Panthers, including wins over No. 11 Florida State, Louisville and Notre Dame. With three freshmen – Xavier Johnson, Trey McGowens and Au’Diese Toney – in the starting lineup, Pitt established itself as a competitive and aggressive team on both ends of the floor. Johnson became the first Panther freshman to earn ACC All-Freshman Team honors, while setting Pitt rookie records for scoring (15.5 ppg.), 20-point games (nine), double-figure scoring games (28) and free throws made (157).
One winner will receive:
- A day with coach
- Bench Seat during game