Kelvin, Kellen Sampson Sign Contracts with Houston Men’s Basketball

University of Houston Men’s Basketball Head Coach Kelvin Sampson and Assistant Coach Kellen Sampson have signed new contracts with the program, Vice President of Athletics Chris Pezman announced.

Both contracts are pending approval from the University of Houston System Board of Regents.

Kelvin Sampson’s new contract runs through the 2026-27 season, elevating him to one of the nation’s top paid head coaches. Kellen Sampson’s new contract formalized the coaching succession plan upon the elder Sampson’s departure from the program with Kellen Sampson being designated head coach-in-waiting on the Houston staff.

“We have been working toward this moment for some time because Coach Sampson has done so much for not just our Men’s Basketball program but our University and the city of Houston. We could never pay him for all he has done and for what he is truly worth. He has returned Houston Basketball to one of the nation’s elite programs,” Pezman said. “Kellen has had opportunities presented to him, but he has remained loyal to our program. As we move into the future into a new league and continue to build upon our current success, Kellen is integral to that plan. We are pleased to make this commitment to Kellen and his family.”

“I would like to thank (University of Houston System Board of Regents Chairman) Tilman Fertitta, (UH President) Renu Khator, Chris Pezman and all that were involved for their continued support of me, my coaching staff, our student-athletes and our program,” Kelvin Sampson said.

“I feel so humble in the belief and commitment Houston Athletics has made to me and my family. I am unbelievably excited to build upon what we started here, and I am excited for the future and what lays ahead,” Kellen Sampson said. “We live by the motto ‘Be where your feet are’, and I am ready to work with our current team and help them pursue every goal and dream it has.”

Entering his 10th season with the Cougars, Kelvin Sampson has placed Houston among the nation’s very best. Since 2017-18, Houston has posted a 176-34 record for the second most wins in NCAA Division I, trailing only Gonzaga (186).

The Cougars have finished among the Top 25 in both final national polls in each of the last six years with Top-10 showings in each of the last three seasons. The Cougars also stood at #1 in at least one national poll for the first time since 1983-84, including seven weeks during the 2022-23 season.

As the Cougars prepare to enter the Big 12 Conference for the 2023-24 season, Sampson’s teams recorded four American Athletic Conference regular-season championships and two American Tournament titles with a school-record five straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including four consecutive berths in the NCAA Sweet 16 or farther.

Sampson has guided the Cougars to three 30-win seasons in his tenure with 32 victories in 2021-22 and a school record-setting 33 wins in 2018-9 and, again, in 2022-23. In the 2020s alone, Sampson’s Houston teams have posted a combined 93-14 record with four conference titles and three NCAA Tournament berths.

Sampson was named The American Coach of the Year four times in a six-year stretch and was named the CBS Sports National Coach of the Year following the 2020-21 season after leading the Cougars to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in nearly 40 years.

He owns a 232-74 record at Houston to rank as the school’s career leader in winning percentage (.758) and is the only coach in school history to lead the Cougars to five, six, seven and eight consecutive 20-win seasons.

With a 732-344 record, he is one of only 33 coaches in NCAA history (with 10+ years in Division I) to reach the 700-win milestone and is one of only 16 coaches to lead multiple schools to NCAA Final Four appearances.

Kellen Sampson has been the program’s lead assistant throughout his Houston tenure, which includes six American Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles and seven postseason appearances, including each of the last five NCAA Tournaments.

He was named to The Athletic‘s 40 under 40 Rising stars in men’s college basketball in 2020 and 2021.

In 2022-23, he worked with forward J’Wan Roberts, who was named The American’s Most Improved Player of the Year after averaging 10.0 points and a team-best 7.7 rebounds per game. Forward Jarace Walker was honored as the league’s Freshman of the Year after posting 11.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in his first collegiate season and is projected as a Top-10 pick in the NBA Draft later this month.

In his time at Houston, Kellen Sampson also worked with forward Fabian White Jr., who ended his career as the winningest student-athlete in program history with 121 victories from 2017 to 2022.

Before joining the Cougars, Kellen Sampson served as an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin (2010-11) and at Appalachian State (2011-14).

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