Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson leaves for head coaching job at Houston

USA TODAY Sports

Former Indiana and Oklahoma head coach Kelvin Sampson is back in the college ranks after a stint assisting Kevin McHale with the Houston Rockets.

Houston Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson has decided to leave his NBA post for the head coaching job at the University of Houston, reports ESPN's Jeff Goodman. Sampson has agreed to a five-year contract with the Houston Cougars as the school moves on from the James Dickey era.

Dickey, who coached the Cougars for four years, resigned after the season to focus on private family matters following a 17-16 season for UH. He went 64-62 in his time at Houston.

Sampson spent the last five-plus seasons as an NBA assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks and Rockets after the NCAA levied a five-year show-cause on him due to impermissible phone calls and texts to recruits.

He joined Kevin McHale's staff with the Rockets in 2011 following a stint with the Bucks and forced resignation with the Indiana Hoosiers due to the NCAA violations. Prior to his time with the Hoosiers that ended in the middle of his second year, Sampson spent 12 seasons with the Oklahoma Sooners, taking them to the NCAA Tournament 11 of those years and winning the Associated Press' National Coach of the Year Award in 1995.

Sampson holds a 496-271 overall record in college with Indiana, Oklahoma, Washington State and Montana Tech.

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