Bucks interview Houston coach Kelvin Sampson, sources say

Kelvin Sampson, the head coach for the University of Houston men’s basketball team, was interviewed by the Milwaukee Bucks for their vacant head-coaching position. Sampson is the first known high-profile college coach to meet with the Bucks about the opening. He was a successful assistant coach in the NBA, including three seasons with the Bucks, before returning to college basketball in 2014. In his nine seasons at Houston, Sampson has led the team to four consecutive berths in the Sweet 16 and a trip to the Final Four in 2021.

Sampson has a history and a relationship with Bucks general manager Jon Horst. Horst was part of the front office when Sampson worked on Scott Skiles’ coaching staff between 2008 and 2011. Sampson’s teams are well-regarded for their tenacious defense and efficient offense production. Houston is moving from the American Athletic Conference to the Big 12 next season. Sampson’s extensive college coaching record includes stops at Houston, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Washington State. His overall college career record is 657-301 (.686).

The Bucks are searching for a replacement for Mike Budenholzer, who was dismissed after five seasons as the coach. The franchise has conducted a vast search that includes several other assistant coaches such as Milwaukee’s Charles Lee, Golden State’s Kenny Atkinson, Portland’s Scott Brooks, Toronto’s Adrian Griffin, Miami’s Chris Quinn, Phoenix’s Kevin Young, and former Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego. Sampson’s six seasons in the NBA included three with the Houston Rockets from 2011 to 2014. The Bucks are hoping to find a coach who can lead the team to another championship title after their recent success in the 2020-21 season.

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