Roots and reality: Sampson must 'have a cause' to stay on top

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O'Kane, Dan. “Roots and reality: Sampson must 'have a cause' to stay on top.” Tulsa World (Oklahoma) 14 March 2000.


Focuses on the coaching successes of Kelvin Sampson, who has coached the Oklahoma Sooners since 1995. He has taken his team to the NCAA Tournament each year; they were seeded third in 2000. In 1995, after his first year at Oklahoma, he received a national Coach of the Year award. He has been sought after by several other schools but has only given serious consideration to Texas, Michigan, and North Carolina State. The article discusses Sampson's Lumbee heritage, mentioning the prejudices endured by Lumbee people in the '50s and '60s, his work at the tobacco market, and his father Ned's participation in the Ku Klux Klan routing of 1958. Sampson explains the energy and motivation he derives from adversity: “I like causes. I like fear. I think fear is good. We all need to be afraid of something, but not consumed by it. I need to be motivated. For some, it's money or prestige. Positive fear motivates me. If I'm not outworking others, coming in early and staying late, I'm afraid of what will happen. I need reasons to keep pushing. That's shaped my philosophy. It's what drives me.”

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Kelvin Sampson | Lumbees in basketball