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Alvin Brooks


Alvin Brooks was named the 12th head coach at Lamar University on April 1, 2021. Brooks returns to the program that he led to the 1980 NCAA Sweet 16 as a player, and where his coaching career began. Former Houston head coach Alvin Brooks finished his eleventh season as assistant coach with the University of Houston Men’s Basketball program in 2020 – 21.  It also will be his 22nd season associated with the Cougars. The Cougars advanced to the Final Four in 2020-21.

In 36 years on the sidelines, Brooks has competed in 20 postseason tournaments as a coach and as a player.  He has guided 18 players who competed in the NBA with more than a dozen players playing professionally overseas.

Brooks assisted Head Coach Kelvin Sampson in all aspects of the UH program, including recruiting, practices, skill development and opponents’ scouting.  This will be his sixth season to serve on Sampson’s staff. During his tenure, the Cougars enjoyed success in the classroom as well.  Eleven student-athletes was named to the conference All-Academic Team for posting a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

Brooks also has been active in the local community.  Since arriving at Houston, Brooks and the Cougars served Thanksgiving lunches to Star of Hope Mission residents, assisted in the unloading of more than 22 tons of pumpkins for a local church’s fundraiser, moved furniture and equipment for local residents’ Extreme Home Makeover and conducted a Texas Special Olympics event inside Hofheinz Pavillion.

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  • In 2020-21 the Cougars were 28-4 and reached The Final Four with a final ranking poll of 3rd (Coaches Poll) and 6th (AP Poll).

  • In 2018-19 the Cougars had the best record in program history at 33-4 and won the conference title in the American Athletic Conference. The Cougars also made it to the Championship of the AAC Tournament but lost to Cincinnati. The Cougars made it to the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year and played Georgia State in the 1st round. They went on to play Ohio State in the 2nd round and won again. The Sweet 16 matchup of Kentucky and Houston was one of the hardest fought games of the year but Kentucky pulled out the win in the last 30 seconds. The Cougars were ranked in the Top 25 for 145 consecutive weeks and were ranked as high as #8. 

  • In 2017-18 the Cougars enjoyed their third straight 20 win season with a 27-8 record and the team's first NCAA birth since 2010. The Cougars defeated the San Diego Aztecs in the first round and lost to the NCAA Runner Ups Michigan Wolverines at the buzzer in the 2nd round. 

  • In 2016-17, the Cougars enjoyed their second straight 20-win season and competed in the NIT for the second straight year, a first for the program since 2005 and 2006. Brooks helped lead the Cougars to a 22-10 record in 2015-16 -- only the 15th 22-win season in program history -- and a berth in the NIT for the first time in a decade. 

  • However, the 2010-11 season was the not first time that Brooks worked with the Cougars. He served as the head coach at Houston from 1993 to 1998, becoming the first African-American head coach in any sport at University of Houston, the first in program history and one of the nation's youngest head coaches at that time. During his head coaching tenure, he led the Cougars to a 17-10 overall record and second-place finish in the Southwest Conference in 1995-96. The Cougars also enjoyed a pair of wins against nationally ranked teams that season against No. 3 Memphis and No. 19 Tulsa in double overtime. 

  • Following his head coaching stint at Houston, Brooks served as an assistant coach at Texas Tech (1999-01) -- North Texas (2001-03),-- UTEP (2003-04) -- Texas A&M (2004-07) and Kentucky (2007 to 2009). 

  • In 1986, he first began his career at the University of Houston as an assistant coach. In seven seasons, he helped lead the Cougars to a 142-73 overall record with three NCAA Tournament appearances and three NIT berths. The Cougars also swept the 1992 Southwest Conference regular season and SWC Postseason Classic championships. 

  • Brooks began his coaching career as an assistant at Lamar in 1982. In five seasons on the sidelines with the Cardinals, he helped guide the program to a combined 115-44 record, two Southland Conference championships and five postseason tournament appearances


  • Before joining the coaching ranks, Brooks was an award-winning player in college and high school. As a senior at Houston's Wheatley High School, he averaged 25.9 points and 9.0 assists per game on the way to earning All-City honors. He began his collegiate career in record-setting fashion at Sam Houston State, where he set the Bearkats' single-season record with 165 assists and was named the Lone Star Conference Freshman of the Year. He also received All-Lone Star Conference Honorable Mention after averaging 14.2 points and 5.2 assists per game. 

  • Following his freshman season, he left SHSU and competed at Henderson County Junior College, leading the team to a 20-8 record as a sophomore.

  • Transferring to Lamar, Brooks was the starting point guard for two NCAA Tournament teams that posted a combined 47-16 (.746) record, 2 conference titles and a 3-2 (.400) in the NCAA tournament. As a junior, he led the 10th-seeded Cardinals into the Sweet 16 with a win against No. 5 Oregon State. Brooks was named the Gillette MVP of the game.

  • As a senior, he was an All-Southland Conference Second-Team selection after setting school records for single-game assists, (249) season and career. 

  • Brooks is a 1982 graduate of Lamar with a bachelor's degree in life and earth science with a minor in physical education. 

  • Following Brooks collegiate playing days, he was a 1981 NBA Draft pick by the San Antonio Spurs. 

  • Brooks was inducted into Lamar University Cardinals Hall of Honor, on October 5, 2019 during LU Hall of Fame Weekend.


Coach Alvin Brooks and his wife Richelle have five children: daughter Andree and sons Casey, Julian, Vincent and Alvin III. The family lives in Houston, Texas. His son Alvin III is assistant coach, Men’s Basketball at Baylor University.

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