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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
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Houston's Kelvin Sampson Named The American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year
POSTED: March 13, 2019 -- 10:15 a.m. CDT
For the second straight season, University of Houston Men's Basketball Head Coach Kelvin Sampson was honored as the American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year on Wednesday.
In 2018-19, Sampson has led the Cougars to a 29-2 record, the program's first outright regular-season conference championship since 1984 and Top-10 rankings in both national polls.
With the Cougars' win at SMU in mid-January, Sampson became only the 52nd coach in NCAA history to reach 600 victories in his career. That win also gave him 100 in his Houston career and made him the fastest coach in UH history to reach that total.
Sampson became only the second coach in program history to win consecutive conference Coach of the Year honors and the first since Hall of Fame Coach Guy V. Lewis accomplished the feat in 1983-84 in the Southwest Conference.
With Wednesday's award, Sampson collected his sixth conference Coach of the Year award from his fourth league. In addition to the two with Houston in The American, Sampson also received accolades in 1995 (Big Eight, Oklahoma); 1991 (Pac-10, Washington State) and 1985 and 1983 (Frontier, Montana Tech).
Sampson first earned the honor with the Cougars in 2017-18 after leading Houston to a 27-8 overall record, a second-place finish in the league and the program's first NCAA Tournament win since 1984.
Cincinnati's Jarron Cumberland was named the league's Player of the Year while USF forward Alexis Yetna was honored as the Freshman of the Year.
Player of the Year: Jarron Cumberland, Cincinnati
Freshman of the Year: Alexis Yetna, USF
Coach of the Year: Kelvin Sampson, Houston
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