Kelvin Sampson '78
Sampson, a Pembroke, N.C. native and 1978 graduate of
Pembroke State (UNCP) has been recognized as one of the
nation's top college basketball coaches. His 2001-02 squad
finished 31-5 and made a trip to the NCAA Final Four. He was
named national coach of the year in 1995 from the Associated
Press, United States Basketball Writers Association and
Basketball Weekly. He holds a 363-222 (.621) career record and a
187-74 (.716) mark at Oklahoma.
"He embodies the quality that we want for all of our graduates,"
said UNCP Chancellor Dr. Allen Meadors. "A willingness to work
hard and to give back when the opportunity occurs. We are proud
of him as an alumni, native son and exceptionally fine individual."
Sampson attended Pembroke High School where he captained his high school basketball team for two years, playing for his father John W. "Ned" Sampson. At Pembroke State, he concentrated on basketball and baseball. The point guard was team captain for the Braves as a senior and earned four letters in basketball and three in baseball. He earned Dean's List recognition throughout his collegiate career and was awarded the Gregory Lowe Memorial Award as the school's outstanding physical education major his senior year.
After graduation he became a graduate assistant coach at Michigan State University serving under coaching legend Jud Heathcote. He served as head coach at Montana Tech and Washington State before being hired by Oklahoma in 1994. He took the Oklahoma job on the advice of retired UNC-Chapel Hill coach Dean Smith, who said he would go the NCAA tournament every year there. Sampson did not disappoint his mentor.
Updated: Thursday, September 2, 2004
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