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Houston’s Kelvin Sampson Wins AP Coach of the Year

Mar 24, 2024; Memphis, TN, USA; Houston Cougars head coach Kelvin Sampson reacts toward an official during the second half against the Texas A&M Aggies in the second round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Houston coach Kelvin Sampson is taking home the honor of AP Coach of the Year, edging past UConn’s Dan Hurley for the award.

Sampson beat out talented coaches, including UConn’s Dan Hurley, Iowa State’s T.J. Otzelberger, South Carolina’s Lamont Paris, Utah State’s Danny Sprinkle, McNeese State’s Will Wade, and Washington State’s Kyle Smith.

 

According to the article, Sampson received 23 of 62 votes from the national panel. Dan Hurley, who has led UConn to the Final Four in back-to-back seasons, finished two votes behind Sampson with 21 votes.

Houston’s star guard, Jamal Shead, spoke about his incredible coach, saying, “He coaches 40 minutes of a 40-minute game. I think that’s what makes us good. He holds us to the same standard, day-in, day-out, practice or game.”

For Sampson, the 2024 title is the second AP Coach of the Year award to go on his trophy shelf; the Houston head coach won the title in 1995 at Oklahoma.

 

The final coaches to receive votes were Lamont Paris with eight votes, T.J. Otzelberger with four votes, Danny Sprinkle with four votes, and Will Wade and Kyle Smith with one each.

Sampson recalled his first season with the Cougars, going 13-19 following a 22-year stretch of mediocrity in H-Town.

“I’m so blessed to have coached that first team that went 13-19,” Sampson told the AP’s Dave Skretta. “That was the only team that my wife’s ever asked, ‘Could you get them to sign a basketball for me?’ We have a lake house in North Carolina, and I see it every summer. She has that ball displayed in a prominent position there, and that’s the only one. We’ve been to Final Fours and won a ton of conference championships, but she’s only got one ball. That’s from that 13-19 team. She appreciates that team because they never quit.”

Sampson never quit striving for success as Houston’s head coach and has quickly molded his team into one of the nation’s premier basketball programs.

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