The Orlando Magic are one of several NBA teams still searching for their next head coach. The franchise is reportedly eyeing a surprising option from the collegiate ranks.
According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, there’s “a growing belief” among league insiders that the Magic are making University of Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson their primary target.
Sampson has never been an NBA head coach but he has worked in the league as an assistant. From 2008-14, he occupied a role on the bench with the Milwaukee Bucks and later with the Houston Rockets.
For the last four seasons, Sampson has run the show at Houston. He’s compiled an 83-48 overall record with the Cougars, reaching the NIT in 2016 and 2017 and the NCAA Tournament this year.
Houston won its first round NCAA Tournament game against San Diego State before falling on a buzzer-beater to eventual national runner-up Michigan in the second round.
No team has kept its coaching search quieter than Orlando, but there is a growing belief among league insiders gathered in Chicago this week that University of Houston coach Kelvin Sampson has emerged as the Magic’s prime target
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 16, 2018
In his career, Sampson has taken four schools to the NCAA Tournament–Washington State, Oklahoma, Indiana and Houston.
Of course, he also lost his job at IU due to an embarrassing NCAA scandal, so his past is still somewhat checkered.
We’ll see if the Magic make him their man.