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OU's Jeff Capel maintains calm presence for Sooners

By John Helsley, jhelsley@opubco.com Modified: February 9, 2009 at 12:32 am •  Published: February 9, 2009
NORMAN - Jeff Capel stands before the Sooners bench. Calm. Cool. In control.

Close games, controversial calls, turnover troubles — it's almost always the same.

And it's not an act.

Misleading, perhaps.

"My dad used to talk about the duck theory," Capel said. "You see a duck swimming, and it always looks like he's calm up top, but below, he may be paddling like crazy."

Still, Capel is not a screamer. Or a stomper. Not a whiner.

But a winner.

And his demeanor might have something to do with it.

While plenty of coaching crazies have managed their share of success, Capel's calm and reassuring presence seems to flow over and through his Sooners, who have shown an uncanny ability to maintain composure and pull through in crunch time.

That doesn't mean Capel doesn't have his moments or doesn't get nervous or doesn't question himself.

His policy, however: never let them see him sweat.

"I want my guys to see me calm," Capel said. "I don't want them to see me looking nervous or anything, because to me, if they see me nervous, it gives them a reason to be nervous.

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