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Episode 165- Kelvin Sampson on How to Build a Winning Culture

March 16, 2023 • Athletes & Coaches
Kelvin Sampson

The NCAA tournament is underway and University of Houston men’s basketball coach Kelvin Sampson has the No.1 seed Cougars ready for a run. In 33 seasons as a head coach, Sampson has established himself as a program builder who wins at every level. He has been named National Coach of the Year six times and is a leading candidate to win this year’s award. He has won more than 700 games in his career and is one of only 16 coaches in NCAA history to lead multiple schools to the Final Four. In nine seasons at Houston, Sampson has led the Cougars to five NCAA tournaments and six conference titles. On this episode, we talk about building a strong culture, coaching your team to manage pressure, and sustaining success.

Follow Kelvin: Twitter

Show Notes

  • How growing up in the south as a member of the Lumbee tribe shaped him (1:55)
  • Why he has always had a chip on his shoulder (5:27)
  • How he’s never lost his underdog mentality in the midst of success (7:51)
  • What he learned from taking the jobs he wasn’t supposed to win at (9:28)
  • Why he decided to return to coaching at the college level (10:57)
  • As a leader, you can’t avoid confrontation (13:36)
  • The conversation Kelvin had with his father shortly before his death that convinced him to take the job at Houston (14:41)
  • Rebuilding the basketball program at Houston (19:56)
  • Building strong relationships and creating accountability (24:33)
  • Don’t confuse coaching with criticism (29:56)
  • Hold your star players to the same standard (31:13)
  • What’s harder- building a successful program or sustaining it? (33:50)
  • Coaching your team to manage pressure and expectations (36:13)
  • What do you wish you knew earlier in your career? (38:06)
  • With success comes criticism (40:27)
  • What do you want your legacy to be? (42:34)

Resources / People Mentioned

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