April 2, 9 a.m.: According to sources with the Houston Chronicle, Kelvin Sampson and the University of Houston could be close to finalizing a deal with a base salary of $18 million, suggesting a deal with the University of Arkansas may have fallen through.
April 1, 8:30 a.m.: A spokesperson for the University of Arkansas athletic department has declined to comment as to whether or not Kelvin Sampson will be the next men’s head basketball coach. The spokesperson also declined to comment on an offer, adding that no comment would be made until a deal is official, whether that be with Sampson or someone else.
The University of Houston is likely to counter any offer made by the University of Arkansas, according to UH board of regent chairman Tilman Fertitta. Fertitta, a billionaire who also owns the Houston Rockets, told the Houston Chronicle last week: “We’re sure not going to let him leave because of money.”
The Houston-based CBS affiliate KHOU 11 also reported last week that the reunion of Sampson and Arkansas AD Hunter Yurachek could be coming.
March 30, 6 p.m.: A source with ties to the University of Arkansas athletic department tells Arkansas Money & Politics that Houston’s Kelvin Sampson will likely be the next UA men’s basketball coach. The University has not yet responded to requests for confirmation.
Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek worked with Sampson during his time as AD at Houston. Houston reportedly offered Sampson a multi-year extension worth $3 million a year earlier this week. Any offer from the University of Arkansas is expected to exceed that, which would put it close to the annual salary of UA head football coach Chad Morris.
Sampson has a 60-12 record at Houston over the last two season, going 33-4 this year while making an NCAA run to the Sweet 16. Sampson has also coached at Washington State (1988-1994), Oklahoma (1994-2006) and Indiana (2006-2008). He joined Houston in 2014.
Arkansas Money & Politics will continue to update this story as it develops.