Jeff Capel Jr. dies 18 months after ALS diagnosis

Jeff Capel Jr. has died 18 months after being diagnosed with ALS. The former ODU head basketball coach was 64 years old.

Two years after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, Jeff Capel Jr. has died at age 64.

Capel coached at Old Dominion and Fayetteville State.

“The Fayetteville State University family is saddened by the passing of one of its most respected alumni and former coaches,” Fayetteville State Chancellor James Anderson said in a statement. “Coach Capel and his family are held in high regard by FSU, its alumni and supporters and he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents, wife, children, and family members during this difficult time.”

Capel's oldest son, former Duke player and current associate head coach Jeff Capel III, wrote about his father's ALS diagnosis on the Player's Tribune in January. His father was diagnosed at Duke in spring 2016.

Capel's younger son, Jason, played at rival North Carolina before going on to coach at Appalachian State (1998-2002).

“ 'Big Jeff' was an amazing role model for his sons as a coach, but even more as a father and as a man,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. “He was a person I had a great deal of respect for and proudly considered a friend.”

The elder Capel coached seven seasons at Old Dominion from 1994-2001, taking the Monarchs to two NCAA Tournaments. 

He also was an assistant at the NBA level, with the Charlotte Bobcats (2004-11) and the Philadelphia 76ers (2011-13).

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