April 12, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
First-year Florida State men’s basketball coach Leonard Hamilton was named as one of the top 33 people, places and events that impacted Tallahassee in 2002 by the Tallahassee Democrat. A local selection committee decided that Coach Hamilton belonged on Tallahassee’s list of influential people due to his positive impact on the Florida State basketball team and widespread acceptance by the Tallahassee community. Hamilton was ranked as the sixth most influential person in the city by the committee.
Hamilton was named as the sixth most influential person in the city on a list that list also included Tallahassee Police Sergeant Dale Green, who was killed in the line of duty late last year. Other notables were Sandy D’Alemberte, retired president of Florida State University, Fred Gainous, current President of Florida A&M University, Scott Maddox, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, Bobby Bowden, the Seminoles’ head football coach and former Florida State football player Todd Williams.
Hamilton, known for his superior basketball mind and recruiting abilities, has set in place a rebirth of men’s basketball team and began to rebuild the Seminoles’ standard of success for many seasons to come. The Seminoles led the ACC in scoring defense, marking the first time they have led the ACC in a statistical category since the 1994-95 season. The 66.6 points per game allowed was the fewest points allowed by the Seminoles in a single season since the 1963-64 season. Florida State also finished second in the ACC and seventh in the nation in field goal percentage defense. Hamilton, one of the nation’s top recruiters, looks to return the Seminoles to the stage and will welcome one of the nation’s top recruiting to Tallahassee in the fall.
Before arriving at Florida State, Hamilton led the University of Miami to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances for the first time in the school’s history. In his ten seasons with the Hurricanes, he brought the program national respect and recognition. Hamilton also led Oklahoma State to the National Invitation Tournament three times and coached the NBA’s Washington Wizards.
Hamilton’s resume is nothing short of exceptional, including such honors as two-time Big East Coach of the Year and United Press International Coach of the Year.