University of Houston’s Kelvin Sampson named to Naismith Coach of the Year Watch List

Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson celebrates beating Syracuse 62-46 after a Sweet 16 game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 27, 2021. (AP Photo/AJ Mast) (Aj Mast, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – University of Houston men’s basketball head coach Kelvin Sampson has been named to the watch list for college basketball’s Naismith Coach of the Year award.

A year after helping UH to a berth in the Final Four and losing four starters from that team, Sampson has led the Cougars to another strong season so far, much of it while dealing with injuries to some of their best players - guards Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark suffered season-ending injuries in December.

Even still, it took UH almost two full months to lose their first game without Sasser and Mark, with UH rising all the way to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 before two losses last week. Still, the team currently sits at No. 14 in the rankings and with a 21-4 record.

Joining Sampson on the watch list: Mark Adams (Texas Tech), John Calipari (Kentucky), Ed Cooley (Providence), Scott Drew (Baylor), Mark Few (Gonzaga), Steve Forbes (Wake Forest), Greg Gard (Wisconsin), Jeff Linder (Wyoming), Tommy Lloyd (Arizona), Bob McKillop (Davidson), Matt McMahon (Murray State), Bruce Pearl (Auburn), Shaka Smart (Marquette) and Brad Underwood (Illinois).

Ten semifinalists for the award will be announced on March 10. Four finalists will be named on March 23, followed by the announcing of the winner on April 3.

About the Author:

Born in Canada but raised in Houston, Howard joined KPRC 2 in 2021 after five years at ESPN. Before that, Howard was a reporter on Houston Rockets and Houston Astros game broadcasts. Among the events that Howard has covered on site: the NBA bubble and the Basketball Hall of Fame inductions for both Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. He's H-town proud!