Former ODU men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel II passes away

Old Dominion Monarchs head coach Jeff Capel looks on during a game against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams. (Photo: Doug Pensinger /Allsport)

NORFOLK, Va. – Jeff Capel II, former Old Dominion head men’s basketball coach and father of Jeff Capel III, is dead at the age of 64.

Capel II was diagnosed with ALS in 2016.

The elder Capel went 122-and-98 in seven seasons as ODU head coach. He won a pair of Colonial Athletic Conference titles (1995, 1997) and advanced to the league title game in 1999.

“Coach Capel always represented Old Dominion with class and dignity,” ODU President John Broderick, who served as Vice President at Old Dominion when Capel was head coach, said in a statement. “We had some terrific success on the court when he was our coach. His former players always speak of him as a role model that continues well beyond their playing careers.”

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our former men’s basketball coach, Jeff Capel,” ODU Director of Athletics Dr. Wood Selig added. “Jeff was a father figure type of coach who had a great relationship with his players and was genuinely a nice guy. We are thinking of the Capel family at this difficult time.”

In a first-person essay for The Players’ Tribune, Capel’s son Jeff the third revealed his father was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) last spring. In the piece, Capel, who is currently an assistant coach at Duke, recalls when he broke the news about his father to legendary Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Old Dominion Monarchs head coach Jeff Capel looks on during a game against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams. (Photo: Doug Pensinger /Allsport)

Old Dominion Monarchs head coach Jeff Capel looks on during a game against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams. (Photo: Doug Pensinger /Allsport)

“I just sit there, in the office of one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball, and I cry, and I cry, and I cry,” Capel wrote.

The elder Capel went 122-and-98 in seven seasons as ODU head coach. He won a pair of Colonial Athletic Conference titles (1995, 1997) and advanced to the league title game in 1999.

Jim Corrigan, who coached on Capel’s ODU staff, spoke to News 3 after Capel II’s diagnosis became public.

“I was shocked to hear it,” Corrigan told News 3. “Saddened, but thoughts, and prayers are with him and his family. “He was a great players coach and he really knew how to relate to the player and how to treat them individually.”