Sam Houston State University has compiled eight 20-victory seasons in its 28 years at the NCAA Division I level. Jason Hooten has been a part of six of those eight seasons either as head coach or as an assistant.
Since he joined the staff in July 2004, the Bearkats have compiled a record of 225 wins and only 126 losses. The Sam Houston men have earned Southland tournament berths each of his 11 years in Huntsville (winning the event in 2010, also reaching the finals in 2006, 2014 and 2015 and the semifinals seven times).
Southland Conference champions in 2010, Sam Houston has finished among the top three teams in the league nine of the last 11 years. The Kats won three West Division titles and advanced to national post-season play twice.
Named head coach on April 2, 2010, Hooten has directed Sam Houston to a 98-69 overall record including back-to-back 20-win seasons with a 24-11 mark in 2014 and 25-9 in 2015.
The past two years, Hooten’s Bearkats have made their third and fourth NCAA Division I post-season appearance, reaching the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament in both 2014 and 2015. Sam Houston’s victory over Alabama State in the first round represented Sam Houston’s first NCAA post-season victory.
The past two seasons have seen the Kats make their mark at the annual Southland tournament in Katy. Seeded No. 6 in 2013, Sam Houston battled its way to the semifinals, defeating No. 7 seed Central Arkansas 69-63 and No. 3 seed Oral Roberts 58-55 before falling to the eventual tournament champion Northwestern State 55-52. The past two years, the Bearkats have reached the Southland tournament finals with victories over Oral Roberts and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in 2014 and the Islanders again in 2015.
In his first season as Bearkat head coach in 2011, Hooten directed the Bearkats to their third consecutive Southland Conference West Division championship and the program’s seventh consecutive winning season. The Bearkats’ 18 wins represented the most victories by a first-year head coach in the program’s NCAA Division I history.
As an assistant coach, Hooten helped direct SHSU to a 127-59 record. The 2010 Bearkats won the Southland regular season and tournament titles to earn a berth the NCAA New Orleans regional.
Hooten joined the SHSU staff July 1, 2004. In 2009, RecruitingRumors.com selected Hooten as one of the top 100 NCAA assistant coaches and CollegeInsider.com named him Mid-Major Top 25 assistant coaches honorable mention. Previously, he was assistant basketball coach at Tarleton State University for Lonn Reisman. He helped lead the Texans to a combined 204-111 record.
A 1987 graduate of Killeen Ellison High School, Hooten lettered in basketball and baseball. He earned All-CenTex and All-Super CenTex honors. Hooten has been named as a Killeen ISD “Distinguished Alum.”
Hooten holds two degrees from Tarleton State, earning a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport studies in 1993 and a master’s in 1995. He is married to the former Kristen Miller. The pair have a daughter, Jadyn, and a son Jayce.