Kelvin Sampson, Class of 1978, men's basketball coach at Oklahoma University, recently guided his team to the "Final Four" of NCAA championships. The Sooners lost to Indiana University Saturday in the semifinals, but Sampson proved once again that he is one of the best basketball coaches in America.
A Pembroke native and son of Ned and Eva Sampson, Sampson played baseball and basketball at UNCP. Ned was the first person inducted into the UNCP Athletic Hall of Fame.
After graduation he became a graduate assistant coach at Michigan State University. He has been head coach at Montana Tech and Washington State before being hired by Oklahoma in 1994.
He took the Oklahoma job on the advice of retired UNC-Chapel Hill coach Dean Smith, who said he would go the NCAA tournament every year there. Sampson did not disappoint his mentor.
For more on Kelvin Sampson, a new biography was released this year: "Kelvin Sampson: The OU Basketball Story;" by Steve Richardson, Republic of Texas Press; 2002.