BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Kelvin Sampson may have alleviated one
criticism Thursday by hiring two longtime Indiana natives -- Ray
McCallum and Jeff Meyer -- as assistant coaches.
When the Hoosiers hired Sampson last month, some alums were upset
that the university did not bring in someone with prior connections
to the state or program. Now, Sampson has two assistants with
Indiana ties -- and experience at the college level.
"I want a staff that could relate to young people, understand
our values that our program will have and that will not only serve
as a source of motivation but also guide young men to become better
players, better students and better people," Sampson said in a
written statement. "These two guys will be tremendous
representatives of our program and our university."
McCallum follows Sampson from Oklahoma to Indiana, a state in
which he won back-to-back state titles at Muncie Central in 1978
and 1979. He graduated from Ball State in 1983 as the Mid-American
Conference's career scoring leader and was the first Cardinals
player to have his jersey retired.
In 1993, McCallum returned to his alma mater as head coach,
posting a 126-76 record while becoming the first coach in Ball
State history to record seven straight winning seasons.
To McCallum, it feels like a homecoming.
"When I was a kid, I was a basketball camper at Indiana, and
now to be here working under a great head coach in coach Sampson
gives me a lot of pride," he said.
McCallum left Ball State in 2000, then spent four seasons at
Houston before joining Sampson's staff at Oklahoma.
McCallum also has Big Ten experience. From 1984-93, he worked as
an assistant at Wisconsin, then spent one season as an assistant at
Michigan before taking over at Ball State.
Meyer, too, has established connections in Indiana.
He grew up in Reynolds, graduated from Taylor University in
Upland, spent two seasons as an assistant at Purdue under Lee Rose
and was an assistant for three seasons as an assistant at Butler
where he was instrumental in the Bulldogs 2002 run to the regional
He spent the last two seasons at Missouri.
In his two seasons at Purdue, Meyer helped the Boilermakers
claim a share of the 1979 Big Ten title and reach the 1980 Final
Four. Then he followed Rose to South Florida.
Meyer also spent 16 seasons as the head coach at Liberty
University where he went 250-206 and was twice named the conference
coach of the year as Liberty jumped from the NAIA to NCAA Division
Meyer also served as associate head coach at Winthrop when the
Eagles won three straight Big South titles and made three straight
But he, too, is glad to be coming home.
"We not only know, but truly understand the importance of
Indiana basketball in the lives of Hoosiers," he said. "I look
forward to being a part of creating more memories, while also
adding to the nationally recognized tradition of IU basketball."