Bucks interview Houston’s Sampson, sources say


The Milwaukee Bucks conducted an interview for the franchise’s head-coaching opening with University of Houston coach Kelvin Sampson, sources told ESPN.

Sampson, the first known high-profile college coach to meet with Milwaukee about the vacancy, spent six seasons in the NBA as an assistant coach — including three with the Bucks — before returning to college basketball in 2014 and constructing a national championship contender at Houston.

Sampson is 232-74 (.758) in his nine seasons at Houston, including four consecutive berths in the Sweet 16 and a trip to the Final Four in 2021. His Cougars were ranked No. 1 in the nation for much of the 2022-23 season.

Sampson is 657-301 (.686) in his college career across stops at Houston, Indiana, Oklahoma and Washington State. Sampson’s teams are typically well-regarded for their tenacious defensive play and efficient offensive production. Houston is moving to the Big 12 from the American Athletic Conference next season.

Sampson has history and a relationship with Bucks general manager Jon Horst, who was a member of the front office when Sampson worked on Scott Skiles’ coaching staff between 2008 and 2011.

The Bucks are searching for a replacement for Mike Budenholzer, who was dismissed after five seasons as the franchise’s coach. So far, Milwaukee has conducted a vast search that includes several assistants 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, sources told ESPN.

Sampson’s six seasons in the NBA included three with the Houston Rockets (2011-14).



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