TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State basketball coach Leonard Hamilton will be inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame on May 4, 2013 at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville. He is one of 12 members of the Class of 2013 – the 47th class of honorees – which will be celebrated by the Tennessee Hall of Fame which was founded by the Middle Tennessee Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association in 1966.
Hamilton will be inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Rick Byrd (Head Basketball Coach at Belmont University), Trey Teague (University of Tennessee, football), Dr. Chris Jones (Carson Newman University, Basketball), Kelly Holcomb (Middle Tennessee State, Football), Frank Wycheck (Tennessee Titans, Football), Penny Hardaway (University of Memphis, Basketball), Larry Seivers (University of Tennessee, Football), John Ed Miller (Vanderbilt, Basketball), Bob Bell (Radio Broadcaster), Ermal Allen (Morristown, Tennessee) and country music legend Vince Gill.
Hamilton’s roots run deep in the state of Tennessee.
He was one of top players at the University of Tennessee-Martin during his playing career where he is a charter member of the school's Hall of Fame. He served as a team captain during his career at UT Martin and received both the team's Most Valuable Player Award and the Best Defensive Player award his senior season.
He began his coaching career at Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, Tenn.) where he served as a graduate assistant from 1971-73 and then as a full-time assistant from 1973-74. The Governors won back-to-back Ohio Valley Championships in Hamilton's last two seasons at the school. Hamilton recruited and coached James "Fly" Williams, the 1974 conference Player of the Year and two-time all-conference selection. Williams was a two-time consensus All-America in 1973 and 1974, the only two-time All-America in school history. The Governors won the OVC Championship and played in the NCAA Tournament in 1973.
Hamilton earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Tennessee-Martin in 1971 and received a master's degree in physical and health education from Austin Peay State in 1973.
As a coach on the collegiate level, Hamilton has been named the National Coach of the Year three times, the ACC Coach of the Year twice, the Big East Coach of the Year twice, guided his teams to seven NCAA Tournament appearances, 16 postseason appearances, the 2012 ACC Championship (at Florida State) and to the 1978 National Championship (as the associate head coach at the University of Kentucky).
Hamilton is currently the ACC’s second longest tenured coach, the third winninget coach in Florida State history and the only coach in school history to guide the Seminoles to the ACC Tournament championship game (in 2009 and 2012). He has guided nine of his 11 Seminole teams into postseason play.
Hamilton’s induction into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame marks the fifth Hall of Fame he will be a member of during his illustrious career. He is a member of the Austin Peay State University, University of Tennessee at Martin and University of Miami athletic Hall of Fames.