Cougar Band Wagon?

I wouldn’t call the Penders or Foster years the dark ages. We made post-season tourneys and had winning records.

The Clyde/Brooks/McCallum/Dickey eras, by contrast…THOSE were the DARK AGES!!!

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1964 varsity with Joe Hamood at point guard at Delmar right after the freshman game with a couple of guys named Hayes and Chaney.

Actually watched the Varsity / Freshman game in 1964 at Jeppensen Field House…

The freshman won…Harvey Pate was smiling ear to ear !

That’s how far back I go.


Foster definitely was not the dark ages. He made the postseason tourneys [edit: nearly] every season but just could not get deep into them.

I see Penders as the light at the end of the dark tunnel. Unfortunately, it ended up that light at the end of the tunnel was the Dickey train that set us back a little. Penders got burned early on scheduling tough in the OOC and getting snubbed by the committee. He then switched to the A&M type OOC scheduling under Gillespie and that helped pad win totals. However, he only made one NCAA tourney as the AQ because of that run in the C-USA tourney. He should have had one more bid (at-large). I would not call his time the Dark Ages – I consider him more the Art Briles Lite of basketball. He helped bring some light to the program.


Penders and Foster had a combined 4 NCAA appearances. Neither won a game in the Dance. Sampson alone would have 4 if not for Covid and has 7 wins.

Penders and Foster were flashlights in an otherwise dark time.

The dark ages were everything post SWC up until the day we signed Sampson.

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I remember games at Delmar, and for some reason, I think I witnessed some games at the old Coliseum in downtown H-town.

I give Penders a little more credit than that since I think he at least got the program headed in the right direction. He averaged 20-13 in his 6 seasons here and that included his first year coming against the Marquette/St Louis/Louisville/DePaul/TCU/UNC-C C-USA. Sure that is not a phenomenal but that was on the heels of averaging:

11-18 McCallum (4 seasons)
9-20 Drexler (2 seasons)
11-17 Brooks (5 season)

And Penders went 9-5 in conf tourney games. Granted that 4-0 magical run in 2010 propped that up. UH just spent too much time earning/buying CBI bids rather than NIT / NCAA bids as the years went on.

Dickey came in and averaged 16-16 in 4 seasons and won 2 conf tourney games and 1 CBI game (but that was against UT!).

But this all led to the Sampson hire so it has to be a good thing, right?

Didn’t mean that as a dig at Penders because I believe he did about as much as he could with what he was given but given the disrepair of our facilities and our conference affiliation, I still consider that to be part of the dark ages. Although certainly the on court product improved during his tenure. Nevertheless even in his best year, the Penders Coogs were miles away from where we are now.

That’s pretty far, but I’ll bet I go back farther than almost anyone (that comes along with being 94 now! I have had season tickets now for 72 years in both basketball and football - since 1950 for sure, and maybe since 1949 - just cannot remember now (people tell me that memory is one of the first things to go!).

And I think I have now seen teams coached by EVERY coach ever on the UH payroll. The first basketball game I ever saw was played in the old - and very small - building that sat between the two towers that used to stand at one end of Jeppesen Stadium. The star of the team then was Don Boldebuck!


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