If an ESPN.com report is true, Indiana has found its next IU basketball coach – Kelvin Sampson.
When it comes to being a proven winner at the collegiate level, they don't come much better than the 12th year Oklahoma Sooner coach. During his 12 seasons in Norman, Sampson has a 279-109 record, an average of nearly 25 wins/season, and has twice been named national coach of the year (1995, 2002). Oklahoma went 20-9 this past season, marking the eighth straight season he's won at least 20 games. The Sooners, which lost in the NCAA first round to UW-Milwaukee earlier this month, has earned NCAA invitations in 11 of Sampson's 12 seasons.
In postseason play, Sampson's teams have appeared in one Final Four (2002, losing to IU in the semifinals), one Elite Eight (2003) and one Sweet 16 (1999). They have also appeared in five of the last nine Big 12 postseason championship games, winning titles in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
In 23 years as a head coach overall, Sampson has compiled a 455-257 record. The 50-year-old coach also has enjoyed successful stints at Montana Tech (73-45, 1983-86) and Washington State (103-103, 1988-94). At Washington State, Sampson built a team that went 30-57 in his first three years into a 20-win squad in both 1992 and 1994. His 1994 squad went 20-11 and earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament, and Sampson departed for Oklahoma that off-season.
A one-time president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Sampson has also been very active on the international level as well. He's been a head coach or an assistant coach for five U.S. international teams. That includes being the head coach on the 2004 World Championship For Young Men Qualifying Team that featured former Hoosier guard Bracey Wright. He was also an assistant coach on the 2002 U.S. World Championship team that finished sixth in Indianapolis.
Sampson is a native of Pembroke, N.C., and a graduate of UNC-Pembroke where he starred as a point guard. After graduating from UNC-Pembroke, he went to Michigan State and spent one season as a graduate assistant on Jud Heathcote's staff while earning his Master's in coaching and administration.
What Made Him a Viable Candidate: His track record is hard to argue with. He's never been able to recruit on the same level of Big 12 competitors Kansas and Texas, yet his teams have been in the hunt annually for regular season and postseason titles. He's a fiery coach on the sidelines who has always developed tremendous loyalty amongst his players, something that could certainly help keep this year's team intact in the off-season. His teams have always played with a tenaciousness on the defensive end that is a reflection of Sampson, and a result of some of the most demanding practice sessions in the college game.
He's also extremely highly thought of by his peers. While he's in a good situation at Oklahoma, he could be longing for a chance to coach at a school where basketball is the No. 1 love, and that's never going to be the case at Oklahoma.
What Made Him a Longshot: The Oklahoma basketball program is in the midst of a three-year NCAA investigation into illegal contact with prospective recruits. The NCAA issued a report detailing more than 550 illegal calls made by Sampson and his staff from 2000-04 to 17 recruits, and the NCAA has yet to issue a final decision. Most of the calls were made by Sampson and former assistants Ray Lopes and Jim Shaw. Lopes went on to be named the head coach at Fresno State in 2002, but resigned at the end of the 2004-05 season after Fresno State was found to have violated rules for making impermissible phone calls to recruits.
The Oklahoma program put itself on two years of probation, docking itself two scholarships for this season and one for the 2006-07 campaign in an effort to satisfy the NCAA and presumably avoid further sanctions. But the NCAA asked for more information, and the university will go before the NCAA infractions committee in April. While there have been no illegal activities discovered other than the ill-timed phone calls, the infractions are considered major due to the sheer number calls.
Profiling Kelvin Sampson
Peegs.com Top Stories
Inside the Locker RoomNovember is around the corner and that means the recruiting is in the homestretch. Catch the latest in our newest "ITLR."
A look at the TerrapinsDave Lomonico from Terrapin Times talks to Peegs.com about the Maryland Terrapins and tomorrow's match-up with the Hoosiers.
Hoosier Newsstand, Oct. 28Get the latest articles on Indiana basketball, football and other sports in today's edition of the Hoosier Newsstand.
Freddie McSwain close to returnJunior college transfer Freddie McSwain speaks to his return to full go action and his transition to high major basketball at Indiana.
Peegs.comYesterday at 1:34 PM
Quality 'Priller Time' in Hysteria scrimmageJunior forward Tim Priller had back-to-back baskets in a stretch during Saturday's Hoosier Hysteria scrimmage to show he's improved his game. Before that he sat down with Peegs.com…
Peegs.comYesterday at 1:08 PM