Kellen Sampson joined the University of Houston Men’s Basketball program in April 2014 as an assistant coach. He assists in all aspects of the Houston Basketball program.
This is the first time that Sampson has worked for his father, Head Coach Kelvin Sampson, as a full-time assistant coach.
In his first season at Houston, Sampson helped lead the Cougars to 13 wins with four victories in their final five games to end the season. The Cougars also knocked off defending national champion UConn for the second straight season inside Hofheinz Pavilion and led the American Athletic Conference with 8.1 3-pointers per game.
He also assisted in the Cougars’ off-court work, serving Thanksgiving meals to Star of Hope Mission residents and leading a Texas Special Olympics event inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Sampson is no stranger to the college basketball coaching fraternity. He joined the Cougars after a three-year stint at Appalachian State from 2011 to 2014. In 2012-13, Sampson helped lead the Mountaineers to the Southern Conference Tournament semifinals and the top five in the league in scoring, field-goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage and blocks.
In his first season with Appalachian State, the Mountaineers reached the SoCon Tournament quarterfinals and were ranked among the league’s top-5 teams in field-goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage defense and blocks.
Sampson entered the full-time coaching ranks as an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin in 2010-11. There, he helped guide the Lumberjacks to 18 wins, including an impressive 13-3 mark at home. SFA led the nation in scoring defense with only 56.7 points allowed per game and in 3-point field goal percentage defense (28.4), while Jereal Scott was named to the All-Southland Conference First Team.
He served as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma during the 2008-09 season and worked as strength and conditioning coach during the 2009-10 campaign. In addition, he also served as the program’s film exchange coordinator and assisted in scheduling official visits for recruits.
In two seasons, he was a part of an Oklahoma staff that won 43 games and advanced to the 2009 NCAA Elite Eight and helped produce four NBA Draft selections, including 2009 No. 1 overall pick and 2011 NBA Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin.
Following his 2006 graduation from Oklahoma, Sampson first served under his father at Indiana as a graduate assistant during the 2007-08 season when the Hoosiers posted a 25-8 overall record and 14-4 mark in Big Ten play.
Sampson competed at Oklahoma from 2004 to 2007. He earned three letters during that time and received the program’s Most Inspirational Award and Connection to the Community Award as a senior in 2006.
On the court, he led the Sooners, connecting on 44 percent of his shots from behind the arc as a senior. Off the court, he earned Academic All-Big 12 First-Team honors in 2007.
Sampson earned two degrees from Oklahoma, graduating with honors in communications in 2006 and earning his master’s degree in intercollegiate athletics administration in 2009.
He is the third generation from his family to work as a coach. In addition to his father, his grandfather, John W. “Ned” Sampson, was a highly respected high school coach in Pembroke, N.C., and is a member of the North Carolina Coaching Hall of Fame.