Head Coach Jeff Capel, Pittsburgh Agree to 2-Year Contract Extension

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2020

SYRACUSE, NY - JANUARY 19:  Head coach Jeff Capel of the Pittsburgh Panthers looks on against the Syracuse Orange during the first half at the Carrier Dome on January 19, 2019 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
Rich Barnes/Getty Images

Less than two seasons into his tenure at the University of Pittsburgh, men's basketball head coach Jeff Capel has signed a contract extension.

The school announced Wednesday he has added two years to a deal that will now run through the 2026-27 season.

Capel issued a statement about extending his commitment to the Panthers:

"I am grateful for the commitment Chancellor [Patrick] 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. 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."

Pitt hired Capel in March 2018 to rebuild the basketball team after it bottomed out with an 8-24 record under Kevin Stallings the previous season.

The Panthers made incremental improvements in Capel's first season, but they still finished 14-19 overall and 3-15 in ACC play.

With a full year under his belt and being able to recruit players who fit his system, the Panthers are 10-4 this season with a chance to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015-16.

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Pitt's 2020 recruiting class is off to a solid start with three commitments, including 4-star center John Hugley, per 247Sports.

Given the state of Pittsburgh basketball when Capel came on board, its current standing in the nation's deepest conference speaks to how valuable he's been. The school recognized that performance and ensured the 44-year-old will be a staple of the institution for years to come.