Austin Peay State University head men’s basketball coach Corey Gipson has completed his coaching staff for the 2023-24 season with the addition of associate head coach Rodney Hamilton and assistant coaches Tim Ward and Jimmy Lincoln.
“The lifeblood of any organization is being able to assemble a family of equally yoked, like-minded individuals who are willing to postpone immediate gratification for the greater good of the program,” said Gipson. “This collective group of coaches will be the greatest example of expressing unconditional love, loyalty, and brotherhood. Their servanthood mentality enables them to teach and empower student-athletes to be the best versions of themselves on and off the court. I can assure you they bleed red!”
All three coaches come to Clarksville after spending last season with Gipson at Northwestern State, where they helped turn around a Demons’ team that went 9-23 prior to their arrival to a 22-11 2022-23 season, earning a No. 2 seed in the Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Championship. The 13-win turnaround was the largest in the program’s 47-year history.
Hamilton brings over a decade of experience to Clarksville and previously served on staffs that have produced four National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft picks – including a trio of first-round selections.
Prior to his arrival in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Hamilton spent four seasons (2018-22) as Memphis’ director of basketball operations under head coach Penny Hardaway. The Tigers had the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class in 2022. It was highlighted by two NBA Draft picks in Jalen Duren (No. 13, Detroit Pistons) and Josh Minott (No. 45, Charlotte Hornets). That group came two years after Memphis produced its first top-ranked recruiting class with first-round NBA Draft picks in James Wiseman (No. 2, Golden State Warriors) and Precious Achiuwa (No. 20, Miami).
Hamilton also was an assistant coach at Tennessee State (2012-18) and helped coach Robert Covington, who currently is on the Los Angeles Clippers and is the lone NBA player hailing from a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Hamilton also was an assistant coach at Southeast Missouri (2007-09) and Crichton College (2005-07) and was the head women’s basketball coach at Indiana Tech from 2009-12 where he went 40-53 in Fort Wayne, Indiana after taking over a program that had gone just 1-30 two seasons before his arrival.
Hamilton played collegiately at Georgia State where he became the first player in program history to have his jersey retired. He is third all-time in points (1,515) and still holds the program record for assists (535), steals (212) and starts (105) and is second all-time in free-throw percentage (83.8). He also still holds the single-game record with 14 assists in a Jan. 1996 win against Florida International.
In addition to helping orchestrate the last season’s record-breaking turnaround at Northwestern State, Gipson, Hamilton, Ward and Lincoln also became the first coaching staff in program history to surpass 20 wins during their first season. The Demons also broke the program record with 278 made three-pointers and had two All Southland Conference selections in DeMarcus Sharp – the Southland Conference Player and Newcomer of the Year, All-Defensive Team selection, and Lou Henson Award finalist – and Ja’Monta Black, who received Second Team All-Conference honors. Sharp and Black also earned National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I All-District 22 Team honors.
Ward brings four years of coaching experience to Clarksville and will also serve as the Governors’ recruiting coordinator.
Before arriving at Northwestern State, Ward was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Moberly Area Community College (2021-22), helping lead the Greyhounds to a 28-7 record and Region 16 Championship. During his season in Moberly, Missouri, Ward helped coached Sincere Parker, the NJCAA’s leading scorer during the 2021-22 season.
Ward spent a season at Talladega College (2020-21), helping lead the Tornadoes to a Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Regular-Season championship after going 25-5 and 7-1 in GCAC play and advanced to the second round of the NAIA National Tournament. The Tornadoes’ Darryl Baker was named an NAIA All-American Honorable Mention during the season after averaged 15.4 points per game.
Ward began his coaching career at Arkansas Tech as an assistant coach for the Wonder Boys in 2019-20.
After serving as a special assistant to the head coach and offensive coordinator for the Demons last season, Lincoln rounds out Gipson’s inaugural coaching staff.
Lincoln has over 25 years of head coaching experience at the high school level where he made 12 state tournaments in Arkansas and Missouri and amassed over 450 wins.
2023-24 Austin Peay Men’s Basketball Coaching Staff
Corey Gipson – Head Coach
Rodney Hamilton – Associate Head Coach
Tim Ward – Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator
Jimmy Lincoln – Assistant Coach