OU's coaches Jeff Capel and Sherri Coale are fans of each other

by Berry Tramel Published: March 18, 2009

/> "We’re walking parallel lines,” Coale said. "We have common experiences.”

Capel received a phone call from Coale on the night he was hired. She called to welcome the Capels to town and offer any help she could in their move from Virginia.

Capel and Coale have monitored each other’s practices, both to spot tips for themselves and to offer any advice they might see.

Capel said he reached out to Coale in his early days of rebuilding the Sooner program. "She did one of the great rebuilding jobs,” Capel said. "She’s from here. She knows the state. I picked her brain.”

That’s not common in college basketball. Egos are too fragile. Territories too staked out.

Coale and former men’s coach Kelvin Sampson didn’t feud, so far as I know. But neither were they comrades like Coale and Capel.

"I don’t think there’s competition between us,” Capel said. "There’s no ego, there’s no jealousy. There’s been a tremendous friendship, a kinship that’s grown.

"There’s a unique camaraderie, genuine support. There’s something very special and unique here. The support you get from everyone involved, it’s not like that everywhere, I tell you that.”

The NCAA Tournament starts Thursday. Over the next 20 days, college basketball conducts the process that crowns two national champions.

On occasion, Coale and Capel can look around their blinders and catch a little respite by cheering on another team to the Final Four.

"It would be cool,” Capel said. "It would be great. I’m rooting for her. I know she’s rooting for us.”

Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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