WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (seminoles.com) – Leonard Hamilton, who guided the Florida State Men’s Basketball Team to Elite Eight of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, was presented with the Clarence “Big House” Gaines National Coach of the Year Award by the National Sports Media Association at its annual awards banquet at the Joel Coliseum. Florida State finished the 2018 season with a 23-11 record and advanced within one game of the NCAA Final Four for the first time since 1993.
The Clarence “Big House” Gaines College Basketball Coach of the Year Awards are presented to NCAA Division I and Division II head coaches and voted on by the NSMA membership. Gaines was the legendary head basketball coach at Winston-Salem (NC) State University. In 47 season as head coach, his teams won 828 games, including the 1967 NCAA Division II National Championship. Earl ‘The Pearl’ Monroe was the leader of that 1967 team. He went on to an NBA Hall of Fame career.
Hamilton was recognized along with Ricky Jackson of Clafin University with one of the two Gaines awards presented during the ceremony which was held on the floor of the Joel Coliseum for the first time. Hamilton and Jackson were the two coaches celebrated along with 50 sports writers from across the country who were honored for their reporting, along with sportscasters and national media members.
Hamilton earned his 500th career win and 300th win as head coach of the Seminoles during the 2017-18 season. Florida State defeated Missouri, Xavier and Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament, before losing to eventual national runner-up Michigan in the NCAA Tournament. Since coming to Florida State in 2005, Hamilton has led the Seminoles to an average of 21 wins per season, a feat shared by only three other ACC programs (Duke, North Carolina and Virginia). With 305 wins, Hamilton is the all-time winningest coach in Florida State history, and the eighth winningest coach in ACC history. His overall college coaching record is 505-408 (.553).
Hamilton begins his 17th season at Florida State on Nov. 6 as the Seminoles play host to Florida at the Donald L. Tucker Center in the season opener for both teams. Florida State’s non-conference schedule will be released in late July with its entire schedule set for release in early September. With the Seminoles’ 83-66 win in Gainesville last season, Hamilton has won eight games against the Gators – more than any other basketball coach in Florida State history.
Season Tickets for the 2018-19 season which includes the Seminoles’ season-opener against Florida, their ACC Big Ten Challenge game against Purdue (Nov. 28) and their nine-game ACC schedule, are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by visiting seminoles.com or by calling the Florida State Ticket office at 1-888-378-6653.