Yea or nay: Prominent men's coaches that have a shot at the HOF

Kelvin Sampson

Record: 667-333 | National titles: 0 | Final Fours: 2

Sampson has coached exactly 1,000 games and won 66.7% of the time. Two out of three ain’t bad. He made the Final Four in 2002, at Oklahoma, and 2021 with Houston. Sampson’s won five regular-season titles and four conference tourney titles, plus has won national coach of the year honors twice. He revitalized Houston, which is why he now has a case, though he was put on a three-year show-cause after committing violations at Indiana that led to an in-season ouster 13 years ago. Compelling argument to be had here. He was also respectable at Wazzu.

Prediction – Out : I don’t think Houston gets to another Final Four under Sampson (those are hard to get to!), and at minimum, I think it would take that for him to have a probable shot.

Let’s go ahead and go to another two or three final fours before Sampson retires.


I believe.

Especially with the type of talent we are going after and getting now.

Anything is possible. Difficult. But possible.

1 Like

While I understand the reluctance to put him in, I do think the resurrection he’s in the middle of right now of UH’s basketball program speaks for itself. A few more years of this sustained success should be sufficient to put him in. The HoF is not solely based on tournament performances.

If CKS continues at his current pace - ie: a Top 5 team in the nation in the # of wins per season - for the next 3-5 years, he should be an absolute slam dunk HOF inductee.

I for one believe that we will indeed make another Final Four under Sampson.

At that point, he’ll be a shoe-in.


I believe we will win a Natty under Sampson


I agree. Before he retires, CKS will have between 100-120+ more wins. I would have to believe that within that time frame, he’ll have navigated us into more Sweet 16, Elite 8 or better appearances.

More importantly, he will be responsible for returning UH into a nationally ranked BB program.

1 Like

You look at their criteria. Coaches with not even 500 wins are getting in because they have a natty. I can see CKS winning a natty and north of 800 wins before he’s done. As the team continues to win, I can see his winning percentage getting close to 70%.

Remember, it GVL a long time before he got in. There’s a lot of weight put on a natty and lot of wait without one…

1 Like

I mostly agree with their assessment, though I’m a little more agnostic on whether or not CKS will get another Final Four with the Coogs. Gun to my head I’d probably bet he doesn’t (as the writer said, getting to a Final Four is hard! That’s not an indictment!) but I certainly wouldn’t put it past him.

Right now I would say no on Sampson but he’s still building his resume.

HOWEVER, John Chaney is in the HOF (never went to a Final Four but won a Div 2 championship) and Lou Carnesecca is in the HOF as well (went to one final four and won a NIT).

1 Like

Carnesecca and Chaney both had better records than CKS, though.

gun to my head i think he gets another final 4 (assuming he coaches 5 or 6 more seasons)… in the general scope of things getting a final 4 is insanely difficult… but if you put a more specifc scope if you are a top 3 seed, getting a final 4 isnt as difficult… there are multiple teams with consecutive final 4s back to back, in part due to seedings…

we are positioned in the aac where for atleast the next 3 (maybe more) that we are going to run the aac enough to be getting good seeds… only memphis can challenge us in roster talent, not a single other aac coach is established…we are set up for nice high seeds for a few years… mix in the level of talent we are getting is drastically increasing by the year… we had a great chance at the final4 2 seasons ago with juco… we made the final 4 this year with transfers on redemption arcs… as early as 2023 we could have rosters where our lineup is 75% touted recruits. we likely wont be a final4 team in 2022 (realistically)… but 2023 if we land a touted big transfer or recruit will have a chance to comfortably be our best roster since phi slamma (depending on who stays)

also sampson will be in the hall of fame even if he never coaches again… it might not be first ballot, but being the most prominent native American coach in the history of the sport will get him in at some point, if he stopped coaching today

1 Like

I mean, by definition, fewer than 1/3 of 1-3 seeds make the Final Four, and it takes some optimistic projection to conclude that we’ll continue walking over the rest of the conference (that we didn’t even win!) like we did this year.

I also think a lot of it depends on how long you see CKS continuing to coach. I personally think he’s got ~5 years left before he hangs it up, but I think there’s exactly one person on earth who really knows – maybe Kelvin Sampson will be UH’s answer to Wayne Graham, and keep coaching into his 80s, in which case a Final Four would be much more likely.

is it really “optimistic projections”…ill start by saying we are talking ncaa tournament implication, not aac championship… uneven conference scheduling will have little do with with final 4 chances… Wichita “winning” the aac doesn’t affect the fact that there was a huge gap between us and the rest of the league

but again how is it “optimistic” … not a single other aac coach has a track record of anything not one. 5 aac coaches are on the hot seat. most aac openly label their current situation as rebuilding. memphis is the only other aac team recruiting at a contending level. we were cruising through the aac (except cincy) with rosters made up of juco… but will stumble now that we are on the verge of getting elite recruits? memphis is the only fanbase that “thinks” they have what it takes to compete with us in the next 2 years, while we are building what could be our best roster in 40 years in that same time frame …again im not sure how what i said is even “optimistic” everyone in the aac would say the same thing… note i didnt say forever i said “next 3 years”…

but my take on Sampson, is baring any surprise health issues… he is coaching atleast 5 or has gotten another final4, he has said he wants to be the 1st native american coach to win a national title . i think he will retire after his next final 4 (especially if its an expected rebuild the next year)… if he doesn’t make another he will give himself as long as possible to get it

C’mon now, I was at both of our last 2 games against Memphis. We barely scraped by both times. So to say that there is a “huge gap” between UH and Memphis is beyond laughable and it borders on being absurd.

1 Like

I have a feeling if we got to another final four that he would write this article again saying we need a National Championship for Sampson to have a probable shot.


We were a 2 seed in the NCAA tournament…they werent even listed as the 1st 4 out by the committee…
We lost to Wichita too… there was still a gap between us and them too…

They played great defense and our games were competitive. Both no one is going to look back and say there wasn’t a gap…the fact that you think saying there’s a gap between a 2 seed NCAA tournament and a NIT team is “absurd” is actually what is absurd

AND Memphis was desperate for a win. Much like Wichita State when we played them at their place. They knew with a win that they could almost guarantee themselves an NCAA tourney bid, or being really close to last 4 in.