Appalachian State hires Capel as new coach

Apr 21, 2010 - 8:39 PM BOONE, N.C.(AP) -- Appalachian State turned to a familiar coaching family on Wednesday, making Jason Capel the youngest men's basketball coach in NCAA Division I.

At 30 years, three months, Capel, who was born in 1980, is three months younger than Wisconsin-Green Bay coach Brian Wardle.

Capel replaces Buzz Peterson, who left for UNC Wilmington last week after his second stint with the Mountaineers lasted just one season. Capel was an assistant to Peterson last year - his only experience as a coach.

It didn't stop athletic director Charlie Cobb from promoting Capel, whose older brother, Jeff III, coaches Oklahoma. His father, Jeff Jr., is an assistant with the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats.

"Coach Capel's wealth of life experiences have led to him developing many of the qualities that we were looking for in a head coach, including maturity, humility and a presence that impresses anyone that comes in contact with him," Cobb said. "I look forward to Coach Capel helping us achieve the championship aspirations that we have."

Capel played at North Carolina and was a two-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection. He led the Tar Heels in scoring at 15.6 points as a senior in 2001-02.

After playing professionally in the NBA Development League and in Serbia, Japan and Italy, Capel worked as a television analyst for ESPNU and Raycom Sports for two years before joining the Mountaineers' staff last season.

Capel was selected for the job ahead of longtime Appalachian State assistant Matt McMahon.

"We have a great group of guys in place in our program and I'm really proud to be able to coach them," Capel said. "I know that we're all in this together and I'm ready to work hard."

It marks the second time Appalachian State will have the nation's youngest coach. Bobby Cremins was 28 when he was hired in 1975.

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