HOUSTON – After leading the University of Houston Men’s Basketball program to the NCAA Tournament with 27 wins and a perfect 15-0 home record, Head Coach Kelvin Sampson was honored Wednesday as the National Association of Basketball Coaches District 25 Coach of the Year.
Earlier this month, Sampson was recognized as the American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. With that announcement, he collected the fifth conference Coach of the Year award from the fourth different league during his career. He was previously honored as the Coach of the Year in 1995 (Big Eight • Oklahoma); 1991 (PAC-10 • Washington State); 1985 (Frontier • Montana Tech) and 1984 (Frontier • Montana Tech).
Finishing his fourth season at Houston, Sampson led the Cougars to one of the best seasons since 1983-84. With a 27-8 overall record, the 2017-18 Cougars became only the sixth team in school history to enjoy 27+ wins in a single season.
Sampson became only the 14th coach in NCAA history to lead 4+ schools to the NCAA Tournament during their careers. He previously led Indiana, Oklahoma and Washington State into March Madness.
Sampson led the Cougars to a thrilling 67-65 win over rv/rv San Diego State in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament in Wichita, Kan., on March 15 for the program’s first NCAA Tournament victory since 1984. The Cougars were just a buzzer-beater away from advancing to the Sweet 16 in a loss to No. 7/7 Michigan.
With a 14-4 mark in American Athletic Conference play, the Cougars tied for second with No. 11/14 Wichita State and finished among the league’s Top-3 leaders for the third straight season. It also marked the third-highest conference win total in school history and the most victories since the 1983-84 team went 15-1 in the Southwest Conference.
Sampson’s Cougars posted a pair of Top-10 wins against No. 7/4 Wichita State (Jan. 20) and No. 5/5 Cincinnati (Feb. 15), becoming the first Houston team to accomplish that feat since 1983-84.