Jeff Capel to replace Gary Williams at Maryland?

Note: this story is from 2009. Click here or 2011 news related to Gary Williams’ retirement or go to

Charles Ward:

To say that Maryland Terrapins fans are a little upset after Saturday’s smackdown at Duke would be understatement worthy of an English tailor.

This loss may prove to be the steam that seals the deal on Gary Williams’ retirement/removal as head coach of the Terps, Williams sat on a pretty hot seat before Saturday, and this loss may be too much to overcome, even though Maryland is still a serious contender for an NCAA Tournament bid.

This development might serve to make the Sooner Nation a bit nervous. Maryland would love to make a splash with its new coaching hire. Jeff Capel, sporting a 19-1 record and No. 5 AP ranking, along with a proven ability to recruit (a sore spot among Williams bashers) would certainly make a big splash. Capel is also African-American, which might be considered an asset in recruiting the D.C. metro area.

Williams is pulling in $1.6 million this season, plus bonuses and incentives. Capel, meanwhile, is getting a bit more than $1 million, plus incentives (though, if OU were to come up to $1.6 million, that would be like $2.4 million in D.C.).


And, there’s no guarantee that Maryland could win a bidding war. OU’s endowment is bigger than Maryland’s, and the Sooners’ athletic budget is half again as big as the Terps’, suggesting OU’s big donors could handle themselves in a bidding war.

If money is no object, then what is? Hoops hysteria, for one. Maryland draws nearly 18,000 fans for home games, compared to a bit more than 10K at Lloyd Noble Center. And, it’s a fair bet that the Terps do a better job putting ticket-holders’ butts in seats than Oklahoma does.

Secondly, while the Big 12 is home to the reigning NCAA champion, the basketball on a year-in, year-out basis isn’t what it is in the ACC. Capel’s playing days were in the ACC (Duke). His head coaching career began at Virginia Commonwealth, where he learned the ins and outs of recruiting D.C., the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic.


None of this is to say that Capel has any intention of getting on the Green Line, or any other line for that matter. And, there’s nothing saying he’d be the guy Maryland wants. Maybe they’d do what their alum, Joe Castiglione did, and bring in a relative unknown.

We’ve also heard here on the East Coast that Capel would be near the top of the list for the Terps if they fired Gary Williams amidst all the bad news this season. We do have to wonder how the average Maryland fan would react to the hire of a Duke alum.

Note: this story is from 2009. Click here or 2011 news related to Gary Williams’ retirement or go to


  1. 1

    It’d be a lateral move at best and one that would pit him against his former coach, Coach K. Don’t see this one happening.

    Comment by Chili — January 29, 2009 @ 11:09 am

  2. 2

    Lefty went to Duke, too. Who cares?

    Comment by Chris — February 18, 2009 @ 10:09 am

  3. 3

    Would be the perfect fit. Maryland should be a major powerhouse. Gary Williams has lost his hunger. His goal is not to win championship. Tired of seeing other schools winning with Baltimore and DC talent and we go all the way to damn Puerto Rico for a point guard. Like seriously, Capel is the guy. Get with it Terp nation

    Comment by Kensrick — March 21, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

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