Tigers Interview Basketball Coach On Campus

Auburn's basketball coaching search continues with the Tigers bringing a prospective candidate to the Auburn campus.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn began the on-campus phase of its search for a new head men's basketball coach on Monday as university officials interviewed Jeff Capel.

Capel, 29, has had two successful years as a head coach at Virginia Commonwealth. A former star player at Duke, Capel was the youngest Division I head basketball coach in the country when he was promoted at VCU on March 5, 2002 to replace Mack McCarthy, the former Auburn assistant coach who resigned that year.

Jeff Capel

VCU posted a 23-8 record last season, ending the year with a 79-78 loss to Wake Forest in the NCAA Tournament's opening round. The Rams earned a berth in the event by winning the Colonial Athletic Association conference tournament. VCU was 18-10 in Capel's first season as head coach.

Capel had previously met with Auburn associate athletic director Hal Baird last week during Final Four week in San Antonio, Tex. Baird, who is in charge of the search for a new coach, also met with UAB's head coach Mike Anderson and Tennessee-Chattanooga's Jeff Lebo while in Texas.

Baird is expected to make his recommendation on who replaces Cliff Ellis to AU interim president Dr. Ed Richardson, who has the final say on who is hired.

Prior to getting the head coaching job at VCU, Capel was an assistant at that university for one season. Prior to moving to Richmond, he was an assistant coach for one season at Old Dominion, another university in Virginia.

A 1997 Duke graduate, Capel was a four-year starter for the Blue Devils and was a two-time All-ACC selection. Prior to that, he was a star player at South View High in Fayetteville, N.C.

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