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Wed, 10.05.1955

Kelvin Sampson, College Basketball Coach born

Kelvin Sampson

*Kelvin Sampson was born on this date in 1955. He is an African Native American college basketball coach.

Kelvin Dale Sampson was born in the Lumbee Native American community of Deep Branch in Robeson County, North Carolina, where he excelled in the classroom and the athletic arena during his prep days at Pembroke High School in Pembroke, North Carolina. Sampson was captain of his high school basketball team for two years and played for his father, John W. "Ned" Sampson. His father was also one of the 500 Lumbee Native Americans who made national news by driving the Ku Klux Klan out of Maxton, North Carolina, in what is annually celebrated by the Lumbee as the Battle of Hayes Pond.

Young Sampson played at Pembroke State University (now UNC Pembroke), concentrating on basketball and baseball. As a senior, the point guard was team captain for the Braves and earned four letters in basketball and three in baseball. He earned Dean's List recognition throughout his collegiate career and received the Gregory Lowe Memorial Award as the school's outstanding physical education major during his senior year. After earning health and physical education and political science degrees from Pembroke State, Sampson pursued his master's in coaching and administration at Michigan State University. He left as a graduate assistant under Jud Heathcote.

College coaching career

After leaving Michigan State, Sampson moved to Montana Tech (of the NAIA), where he became an assistant coach. After serving as an interim coach for one season, Sampson guided the Orediggers to a 73–45 record in his final four seasons. Montana Tech had won just 17 games combined three years before his arrival. Sampson turned in three consecutive 22-win seasons and claimed three Frontier Conference championships at Montana Tech. He led his teams to two NAIA District 12 title games and was named the league's coach of the year in 1983 and 1985.

He took over the Oklahoma program in 1994, leading the Sooners to the postseason in his twelve years as head coach (11 NCAA Tournaments, 1 NIT) and made it to the Final Four in 2002​. Sampson moved to the NBA for the next six seasons, spending three years each as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks (under Scott Skiles) and Houston Rockets (under Kevin McHale); he was acting Houston Rockets head coach for 13 games during the 2012-13 season, leading the team to a 7-6 record. He returned to the college ranks in April 2014 when he was hired as the head coach of the Houston Cougars.

Personal life

Sampson is married to Karen Lowry. They have one daughter, Lauren, and one son, Kellen. Lauren is the men's basketball director of external operations at the University of Houston, and Kellen is an assistant coach in Houston.

To become a Coach

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

I see’d her in de Springtime, I see’d her in de Fall, I see’d her in de Cotton patch A cameing from de Ball. She hug me, an’ she kiss me, She Wrung my... SHE HUGGED ME AND SHE KISSED ME, a Negro Folk Secular.
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