Oklahoma Fires Jeff Capel (UPDATED)

Jeff Capel is the latest casualty of the coaching carousel.

Oklahoma fired Capel Monday.

“After careful consideration, it has been determined that our men’s basketball program would be best served by a change of direction,” Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said.  “Therefore, we are making a change in the head coaching position.  Jeff Capel has worked diligently on our behalf, and for that we are appreciative.  He has many outstanding qualities and we wish him success as he moves forward.

“As we look to the future, we do so with a great university, a proud tradition in basketball, continued commitment to excellence in all areas and some of the country’s finest facilities.  We expect that those qualities will play an important role in our search for a new coach.  We’re ready to embark on that process.”

OU President David L. Boren thanked Capel for his contributions.

“The decision that has been reached is in the best interest of both Coach Capel and the basketball program.  I appreciate Jeff’s hard work and commitment as head coach and wish him well in the future,” he said.

The Sooners finished 14-18 this season, marking the program’s first back-to-back losing seasons in 44 years. They went 13-18 a year ago.

Last year, Oklahoma was ensnared in a controversy surrounding big man Tiny Gallon, who reportedly received $3,000 from a financial adviser.

Capel replaced Kelvin Sampson in 2006 and posted a 94-61 record over five seasons. He guided Oklahoma to two NCAA Tournament berths, with an Elite Eight appearance in 2008-09.

Seth Davis of SI first reported the news.

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