Who is Kelvin Sampson's wife? Meet the family of UH's head coach

Joshua Rogers March 21, 2022
Who is Kelvin Sampson's wife? Meet the family of UH's head coach
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

After the University of Houston’s win against Illinois in this year’s NCAA Tournament, we find out more about Kelvin Sampson’s wife Karen and their family.

Kelvin Sampson is head coach of the University of Houston, who are competing in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

On Sunday, 20 March, Houston knocked Illinois out of this year’s tournament to advance to the Sweet 16. They now take on No.1 Arizona on Thursday night. After the game, fans wanted to know more about Kelvin Sampson’s wife and family.

Kelvin Sampson’s wife Karen

Kelvin Sampson’s wife is Karen Sampson (nee Lowery), who he met in history class at Pembroke High School. The couple dated for almost seven years before they married on 16 June 1979.

Karen represented Pembroke at the Miss Lumbee beauty pageant in 1976. She worked as a first-grade teacher at Tanglewood Elementary from 1977 to 1979, when she moved to East Lansing, Michigan, with her husband.

Karen Lowery Sampson was appointed to the board of trustees at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in July 2018.

Speaking about his wife in 2015, Kelvin said (via Nicki Swift.com): “I don’t really care about (the spotlight). I’ve got the best assistant coach I’ve ever had – my wife (Karen). Being with my family, investing in my program, that’s been the highlight of my career.”

On 16 June 2017, Kelvin paid tribute to his wife on their anniversary. He uploaded a picture with her to Twitter with the caption: Happy Anniversary to my beautiful wife, Karen!’

Kelvin Sampson’s children

Kelvin Sampson and his wife have a daughter, Lauren, and son, Kellen. Lauren is currently the men’s basketball director of external operations at the University of Houston.

Kellen Sampson was born on 18 June 1985 and is Houston Cougars’ assistant coach. He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Indiana, and has worked as an assistant coach at the University of Houston since April 2014.

He is married to Tonya Benton and they have two children, daughter Maisy Jade and son Kylen Ned.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.