HOUSTON – The Houston Cougars have found their next head coach and they didn’t have to look far.
Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson has agreed to return to college hoops as the Cougars’ coach, according to CBSSports.com.
ESPN.com reports Sampson’s deal is for five years.
Sampson had worked in the NBA with the Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks over the past six years.
Sampson, 58, was fired from Indiana in 2008 after an NCAA investigation into improper and excessive contact with recruits regarding phone calls and text messages.
The violations were repeat offenses from when he was head coach at Oklahoma. This led to a five-year show-cause on Sampson, one of the harshest in NCAA history against a D-I college basketball coach.
The NCAA no longer puts such restrictions on text messages with recruits.
His career record is 496-271, spanning time at Montana Tech (1981-85), Washington State (1987-94), Oklahoma (1994-2006) and IU (2006-08).
Sampson took Oklahoma to the 2002 Final Four.
Houston fired former coach James Dickey in March. The Cougars went 17-16 last season and did not reach the NCAA Tournament in his four seasons with the school