Coach search begins following Capel’s exit

Coach search begins following Capels exit

Nick Joyner

Athletic director Charlie Cobb said the search for the next men’s basketball coach at Appalachian State University will begin immediately.

After four seasons as head coach of the Appalachian State men’s basketball team, Jason Capel will not be returning next season, Cobb announced March 10.

Cobb said the search for a new coach will involve multiple people.

“We’re going to have a committee and probably look to have six to eight people involved in the process,” Cobb said. “We’re going to go on a national search and let the head coach decide who is going to be on the staff.”

During his tenure, Capel held a 53-70 overall record, including a 32-38 conference mark. Cobb said the program needed a change.

“Looking at and evaluating the program over the last four years, we haven’t met expectations,” Cobb said. “Coach knows it, I think our kids knew it and certainly I think the Appalachian community knows it. Wins and losses are a big part of that expectation piece.”

This season, Capel, who was entering the last year of his contract, led the program to an overall record of 9-21 and a first-round exit in the quarterfinal round of the SoCon tournament.

“I don’t know if there is that one thing that really needs to be changed,” sophomore guard Frank Eaves said. “I feel like there were a lot of games this year where we were right there, and we just didn’t finish.”

Eaves said he hopes the next coach is passionate about helping the team.

“I would definitely like to see someone who is enthusiastic to work with us, and who’s ready to take this program to another level,” Eaves said. “I’m definitely excited for the next person, whoever is hired.”

Capel, hired in 2010, was a rookie coach that Cobb said he picked with his instincts. This time around, experience will be a factor in the hire.

“We are going to try to focus on someone who has been a successful college head coach,” Cobb said. “I think it’s also important that we’ve got to find somebody that’s going to engage what I refer to as the AppNation. Certainly our fans and our students are a big part of the atmosphere within the Holmes Center.”

Story: Nick Joyner, Senior Sports Reporter