Joshua Siegel" />
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Sunday, October 1, 2023


UH gets new beat writer

Sam Khan still finds himself tracking down coaches and athletes for interviews in the halls of the UH Athletics and Alumni Center, five-and-a-half years after graduating; only now his press credentials no longer read, ‘Daily Cougar’.

Khan took over the Houston Chronicle’s UH sports beat this week for Steve Campbell. Khan was hired by the Chronicle straight out of college and served as the high school beat writer for the past five-and-a-half years.

“It gives me a sense of pride because I’m back here,” Khan said. “But in an elevated capacity, whereas I was a student, now I’m a professional covering UH athletics.”

Khan was a psychology major at UH and had no intentions of pursuing journalism until the fall of his senior year when professor Charlie Crixell encouraged him to join the Daily Cougar.

“The Cougar is where I really discovered my passion for journalism and sports journalism in particular,” Khan said. “Charlie was a big influence on me. David McHam was a big influence on me.”

Khan had planned on attending graduate school or studying law after graduation, but covering his first game from the press box would help to change his mind.

“I’ll never forget in 2004 when UH played Miami at Reliant Stadium,” Khan said. “I had never covered a game from that angle and afterwards I was sitting there thinking to myself ‘This is something I could see myself doing.’

“I decided that I wanted to give it a shot and pursue it.”

Khan acquired a do-it-yourself attitude from covering high school sports. He would have loved to have started higher up the food chain, but he would have missed out on all the valuable lessons he learned from the experience.

“Doing high school definitely gives you the real foot-to-the-ground experience that you need to be a good reporter,” Khan said. “Nothing is handed to you. You don’t have stats given to you, you have to take your own at every game. You don’t have people pull coaches or kids for you if you need quotes. Everything you need on the high school beat, you got to go get.

“I definitely needed that. I think that it is to the benefit of every reporter to start at that level because you have to learn how to do everything from scratch.”

The Houston high school connections Khan has made in the past could prove beneficial when covering potential UH recruits.

“The high school coach is a key part because a lot of college coaches go through the high school coach first,” Khan said. “I’ll definitely have that in my back pocket and use it to some capacity.”

Most of the coaches and some of the staff of the athletic department has changed since Khan was last a regular on campus, but he is excited about being a regular on Cullen Blvd. again.

“I think it’s going to be great,” he said. “For me I’m very excited.”

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