Sampson named Naismith coach of the year semifinalist

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 3/17/22

After leading the University of Houston Men’s Basketball program to another winning season, another ACC regular season championship and tournament championship and another NCAA Tournament berth, Head Coach  Kelvin Sampson was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year Award.

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Sampson named Naismith coach of the year semifinalist

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After leading the University of Houston Men’s Basketball program to another winning season, another ACC regular season championship and tournament championship and another NCAA Tournament berth, Head Coach  Kelvin Sampson was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year Award.

Now in his eighth season at Houston, Sampson has led the 18th-ranked Cougars to a 26-5 overall record and 15-3 mark in American Athletic Conference play. With the Cougars’ claiming the 2021-22 American regular-season and post-season titles, he became the first coach in Houston history to lead the program to three conference crowns in a four-year stretch.

Sampson already is the only coach in school history to lead the Cougars to seven consecutive 20-wins seasons. With his selection as the American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the third time earlier this week, he also became the first Cougar coach to receive three conference Coach of the Year honors.

After losing four starters from last year’s NCAA Final Four squad, Sampson’s 2021-22 team’s impressive accomplishments have come despite losing Preseason All-American Athletic Conference First-Team guard Marcus Sasser and sophomore guard Tramon Mark to season-ending injuries in December 2021.

That duo combined to score more than 27.0 points per game prior to their injuries and continue to rank among the team’s Top-Five scoring leaders entering this weekend’s American Athletic Conference Championship.

Now in his 33rd season as a collegiate head coach, Sampson has compiled a 693-389 overall record with a 193-69 mark at Houston. He is one of only 16 coaches to lead multiple schools to the NCAA Final Four and ranks as the winningest coach in Houston history with a .737 career winning percentage.

Sampson was joined as a semifinalist by Mark Adams (Texas Tech), John Calipari (Kentucky), Ed Cooley (Providence), Scott Drew (Baylor), Steve Forbes (Wake Forest), Greg Gard (Wisconsin), Tommy Lloyd (Arizona), Matt McMahon (Murray State) and Bruce Pearl (Auburn).

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