TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Leonard Hamilton, who led the Seminoles to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, has been named as the 2021 Ben Jobe Award Winner as the nation’s top Division I minority coach. The award has been presented annually by collegeinsider.com since 2010 with Hamilton becoming the first ACC coach to earn the award.
Hamilton led the Seminoles to a second place finish in the ACC standings, a runner-up finish in the ACC Tournament and to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year. Florida State finished the season with an 18-7 overall record and an 11-4 mark in ACC play. The Seminoles spent much of the 2020-21 season in first place in the ACC standings and finished just behind Virginia in the final standings in a race that was decided on the final day of the regular season.
Florida State finished the 2021 season ranked No. 14 in the final Associated Press Poll of the season (March 15), making the Seminoles the highest ranked ACC team both major college basketball polls. The Seminoles began the season ranked No. 21 and were ranked as high as No. 11 for two weeks. Florida State was ranked as high as No. 9 in the USA Today poll on February 22 and finished the season ranked No. 10 in the coaches poll.
At No. 14 in the final Associated Press poll of the season, it marks the fourth time in the last five seasons (No. 14, 2021; No. 4, 2020; No. 12, 2019 and No. 16, 2017) the Seminoles have been ranked in the nation’s top 16 of the final AP poll. The Seminoles are currently ranked No. 14 in the USA Today poll and have been ranked in every coaches poll but one during the season.
Florida State finished the 2020-21 season with four victories over nationally ranked teams – No. 25 Florida (81-71, December 12), No. 20 Clemson (80-61, January 23), No. 7 Virginia (81-60, February 15) and No. 22 Colorado (71-53, March 22 in the NCAA Tournament). The Seminoles were one of only three ACC teams with four or more wins over ranked teams during the season.
Jobe was an icon in the history of college basketball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities before his death in 2007. He is best known as the Head Coach at Southern University, a position he held for 12 seasons. He was also the Head Coach at Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Talladega, Tuskegee and South Carolina State. Jobe is considered of the finest men to ever coach college basketball.
Jobe’s record at Southern was 209-141 and included four NCAA Tournament appearances. He also coached the Jaguars to one NIT appearance, five SIAC championships, 11 SWAC titles and two NAIA Tournament Championships. Perhaps his most memorable moment as a coach was leading No. 15 seed Southern to a 93-78 win over No. 2 seed Georgia Tech in the first round of the 911 NCAA Tournament.
BEN JOBE AWARD WINNERS
2021: Leonard Hamilton, Florida State
2020: Damon Stoudamire, Pacific
2019: James Jones, Yale
2018: Donte’ Jackson, Grambling
2017: Jamion Christian, Mount St. Mary’s
2016: Dana Ford, Tennessee State
2015: Bobby Collins, UMES
2014: Willis Wilson, Texas A&M Corpus Christi
2013: Kevin Ollie, Connecticut
2012: Sean Woods, Mississippi Valley State
2011: Cuonzo Martin, Missouri State
2010: Ed Cooley, Fairfield