Apr 2, 2014, 3:27 PM EST
Rockets’ assistant coach Kelvin Sampson turned some heads last season when he guided the Rockets to a strong showing while Kevin McHale was away after the death of his daughter. That got his name in the mix when head coaching vacancies came up last summer, but nothing came together for him.
So Sampson apparently is heading back to college.
Sampson likely soon with ink a deal to become the head coach of the University of Houston, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
A deal is expected to be finalized in the near future, sources said. Sampson, 58, would leave his job with the Houston Rockets, where he serves as the top assistant coach, and take over the Cougars program once the agreement is finalized, sources said.
Sampson met with university officials twice in the past several days – including Saturday, sources said.
At least Sampson doesn’t have to move. Because moving sucks.
Sampson has a long but checkered history at the college level and his hiring is going to cause some controversey. He had success at Montana Tech which landed a job as an assistant at Washington State, where he took over a long dormant program and got them to the NCAA Tournament. That landed him a job at Oklahoma where he had a .719 winning percentage over a dozen seasons and took the Sooners to the NCAA Tournament all but one year, reaching the Final Four once.
That landed him the job at Indiana, but he was forced to resign from that job amid a recruiting scandal, which put sanctions on the university (he had recruiting issues at Oklahoma as well).
He has spent the past six seasons as an NBA assistant coach, first with the Bucks and now with the Rockets.
He returns to college taking over a once proud NCAA program — where Hall of Famer Guy Lewis coached Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and others. They have been less impressive lately, having gone 17-16 this past season and they were making a change.
- Report: Mavericks and Celtics in ‘substantive discussion’ about Rajon Rondo trade 0
- Report: Celtics now more willing to trade Rajon Rondo 9
- Tyson Chandler says he feels sorry for Carmelo Anthony 19
- Kevin Durant on idea stars wouldn’t want to play with Kobe Bryant: ‘That’s bulls—‘ 43
- Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson meets with Kings GM, DeMarcus Cousins after Tuesday night’s game 25
- PBT’s Tuesday Night NBA Winners/Losers: Grizzlies grind ends Warriors streak 12
- It’s official: Jabari Parker out for the season with torn ACL 22
- Grizzlies snap Warriors’ 16-game winning streak 4