Big 12 Basketball

Kelvin Sampson Interviews for Milwaukee Bucks Job: Report

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Rutgers at Houston

Houston men’s basketball coach Kelvin Sampson has reportedly interviewed for the vacant Milwaukee Bucks’ head-coaching job, per ESPN.

The Bucks are looking for a replacement for Mike Budenholzer, who was fired after the Bucks playoff run ended this season. He led the Bucks to an NBA title in 2021.


Sampson has never been an NBA head coach. But he was a Bucks assistant from 2008-11 and then a Houston Rockets assistant from 2011-14. He then took the Cougars job.

That relationship in Milwaukee could be key, according to ESPN. Bucks general manager Jon Horst was in the front office when Sampson was an assistant coach under Scott Skiles.

Sampson has returned the Cougars to their Phi Slama Jamma days of success the past few seasons, leading them to the 2021 Final Four and five straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Sampson and the Cougars have won 30 or more games in three of the last five seasons.

Last season the Cougars went 33-4, reached the Sweet 16 and spent the majority of the season as the nation’s No. 1 team in the Associated Press Top 25.

He was also the head coach at Montana Tech, Washington State, Oklahoma and Indiana. His career record in college is 731-345. He also led the Sooners to the 2022 Final Four.

Luring Sampson away would come at an inopportune time for the Cougars. The program is set to move the Big 12 on July 1, along with BYU, Cincinnati and UCF. The Cougars would also have to quickly put together a coaching search and try to avoid losing players to the transfer portal.

Even though the portal window closed last week, players can still declare to transfer but would need an NCAA waiver to play next season.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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