'I know that we value him': UH president on Kelvin Sampson after $18M deal offer


HOUSTON – With the Houston Cougars enjoying great success, Kelvin Sampson remains a highly coveted coach.

He’s been linked to several jobs in past seasons, and rumors surfaced of Arkansas being interested in luring him away this time around.

KPRC Channel 2 Sports Director Randy McIlvoy reported Thursday night that the university has offered Sampson a six-year, $18 million deal to remain the Cougars head coach moving forward.

When asked earlier in the day Thursday, Sampson declined to comment on his contract situation.

University of Houston president Dr. Renu Khator was in Kansas City Friday for the team’s Sweet Sixteen game against Kentucky when she spoke about the Cougars' success and Sampson’s future with the school.

"I think coach Sampson has done a great job and I know that he knows it,” Khator said. “The University of Houston and the Cougar nation appreciates him and values him and definitely thank him for everything that he is doing for us. But I’m very proud of him that’s he’s not distracted, he just wants to talk about everything else later. So let’s go and win this game.”

She was very clear about the school’s desire to keep him at UH.

"We certainly want him to stay here. He knows we want him to stay here and I know everybody in the Cougars nation wants him to be here and we’ll see,” she added.

"We’re very excited. I think we're in a good place and he’s in a good place,” she said.

When asked how soon she’d like to have the future for coach Sampson in place, Khator also indicated her confidence in the team advancing. 

"We are going to be playing in Final Four, so we are going to be staying focused again next week, so we’ll see, whenever’s the right time," Khatir said. "I know that we value him and we want him as our coach for as long as he wants. Stability is always good when you are doing a wonderful job (and) when you have created a culture. It's always good. Coach Sampson knows that, we know that and we love him and we want him here and that’s all I can say."