Aug. 5, 2007
GASTONIA, N.C. –
Florida State head men’s basketball coach Leonard Hamilton will be inducted into the Gaston County (N.C.) Hall of Fame on Monday night at the Country Club of Gastonia. Hamilton graduated from Gastonia’s Highland High in 1966 and starred at Gaston Community College for two seasons.
— This is the fourth Hall of Fame Leonard Hamilton has been inducted to in his career. He is already a member of the Austin Peay State University, University of Tennessee at Martin and University of Miami athletic Hall of Fames.
— He was named the 1995 UPI National Coach of the Year.
— He was named the Big East Conference Coach of the Year in 1995. He is one of only six coaches to earn Big East Conference Coach of the Year honors multiple times.
— Hamilton has led 11 different teams and three different schools into the postseason.
— Hamilton has coached 43 NBA players including 12 first round selections. His latest selection was Al Thornton, who became only the second Draft Lottery selection in school history.
— He began his head coach career at Oklahoma State where he led the Cowboys to the NIT in 1989 and 1990. It marked the first time the program had earned consecutive post season appearances since the 1953 and 1954 seasons.
— Under Hamilton’s leadership, Miami became on of the nation’s top teams. He took the Hurricanes to the postseason in five of his final six seasons including three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The Hurricanes were a league-best 28-6 in his last two seasons at Miami.
— Hamilton led Miami to the greatest single-season turnaround in Big East History and took the Hurricanes to their first postseason tournament birth in 31 years as he led the Miami to the NIT in 1995.
— Hamilton has coached Florida State to back-to back 20 win seasons and postseason appearances in three of the last four seasons. Florida State won 20 games for the second consecutive season under Hamilton with a 22-13 record during the 2006-07 season. It marked only the third time in the last 10 seasons that the Seminoles had won 20 or more games. It also marked the first time since the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons that Florida State has won 20 games in back-to-back seasons.
— Hamilton has coached two of the three All-ACC First-Team selections in school history during his first six seasons at Florida State. He coached Tim Pickett to all-conference first-team honors in 1994 and Al Thornton to all-conference honors in 2007. Thornton was the runner-up for ACC Player of the Year honors in 2007.
— Florida State has defeated 10 nationally ranked opponents during the first five years of the Leonard Hamilton era in Tallahassee. Included in those victories are wins over No. 1 ranked Duke, No. 3 ranked Wale Forest and No. 7 ranked North Carolina.
— Hamilton’s graduation rate of his players has been stellar throughout his career. He graduated 28 of his 31 seniors during his career at Miami and has helped guide 20 of 20 seniors to their degrees during his first five years at Florida State.
— During his 12 seasons as an assistant coach at Kentucky, the Wildcats won 296 games, won eight regular season SEC championships, two SEC Tournament titles and won the National Title in 1978.