Kellen Sampson joined the Appalachian State coaching staff in May 2011 after serving in a similar role at Stephen F. Austin in 2010-11.
In his second season, Sampson helped lead the Mountaineers to the semifinals of the conference tournament and a near-upset of top-seeded Davidson. In addition, the Apps ranked in the top-five in the SoCon in scoring, field-goal percentage, three-point field-goal percentage, rebounding and blocks.
During his first season with the Mountaineers, Sampson helped coach a team that reached the quarterfinals of the SoCon Tournament while finishing in the top-five in the league in field-goal percentage, three-point field-goal percentage, three-point field-goal percentage defense, and blocks.
In one season at Stephen F. Austin, Sampson helped the Lumberjacks to 18 wins in his only season in Nacogdoches, Texas, including a 9-7 Southland Conference record and 13-3 mark at home. SFA led the nation in scoring defense (56.7) and three-point field goal defense (28.4 percent) and also ranked 10th in rebound margin (+7.3). Sampson coached junior Jereal Scott to first team all-conference honors and a 60-percent field goal mark.
Prior to his season at SFA, Sampson spent two years coaching at his alma mater, Oklahoma. The former guard served as a graduate assistant in 2008-09 and strength and conditioning coach the following year. In addition to his direct coaching duties, he served as the program’s film-exchange coordinator and assisted in scheduling official visits for recruits.
In his two seasons working under head coach Jeff Capel, the Sooners won 43 games and advanced to the 2009 Elite Eight. OU had four players selected in the NBA Draft, including 2009 top overall pick and 2010-11 NBA Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin.
Following his 2006 graduation from OU, Sampson worked as a graduate assistant at Indiana in 2007-08 and helped coach the Hoosiers to a 25-8 mark and 14-4 conference record. At Indiana, Sampson mentored a pair of first round NBA Draft picks in Eric Gordon and D.J. White.
In his playing career at Oklahoma, Sampson earned three letters and was the recipient of the team’s Most Inspirational Award and Connection to the Community Award as a senior. He earned First-Team Academic All-Big 12 accolades in 2007. As a senior, he led the team with a 44-percent three-point field goal mark.
Sampson earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Oklahoma, graduating with honors in 2006. He received his master’s in intercollegiate athletics administration in 2009 from OU.
Sampson is a third-generation coach, following in the career footsteps of both his father and grandfather. His father, Kelvin Sampson, is currently the top assistant with the NBA’s Houston Rockets, following a long career as a college coach that included national Coach of the Year honors in 1995 and 2002 at Oklahoma, where he led the Sooners from 1994-2006. The elder Sampson served as head coach at Indiana from 2006-08 and an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks from 2008-11.
His grandfather, John W. “Ned” Sampson, was a widely respected high school coach in Pembroke, N.C. and is a member of the North Carolina Coaching Hall of Fame.