DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Former Old Dominion basketball coach Jeff Capel Jr. has been diagnosed with ALS.
His son, acting Duke head coach Jeff Capel III, disclosed his father’s diagnosis Wednesday in a first-person story written for The Players Tribune.
The younger Capel says doctors at Duke University this spring diagnosed his father with the disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He says in the story that the disease, “I am sad to report, continues to progress” but that “we are fighting — always fighting.”
The elder Capel, 64, coached seven seasons at Old Dominion from 1994-2001, winning two Colonial Athletic Association tournaments and taking the Monarchs to two NCAA Tournaments. Capel led ODU to one of its biggest wins in school history, a triple-overtime victory over Villanova in the 1995 NCAA Tournament. He also spent one year at North Carolina A&T and four seasons at Division II Fayetteville State, and assisted with the Charlotte Bobcats (2004-11) and Philadelphia 76ers (2011-13).
He’s the patriarch of a family that includes two sons who were Atlantic Coast Conference-caliber players who went into coaching.
Jeff Capel III played at Duke in the 1990s before starting a coaching career that included stops at Virginia Commonwealth and Oklahoma before returning to his alma mater, and is temporarily in charge of the Duke program while Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski recovers from back surgery earlier this month.
Jason Capel played at rival North Carolina from 1998-2002 and coached four seasons at Appalachian State.