Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball head coach A.W. Hamilton‘s contract status has been extended through the 2024-25 season, Vice President and Director of Athletics Matt Roan announced.
“We are excited to be able to announce a new four-year contract for Coach A.W. Hamilton,” Roan said. “Since arriving at EKU, A.W. has experienced success in every way: in competition and raising the profile of our program; in the academic success and experience of our men’s basketball student-athletes; by increasing interest in Colonel basketball with future recruits and among our fanbase; and by becoming a campus and community leader.
“As we transition into the ASUN, we want to ensure that Coach Hamilton is leading our program. He shares in our vision and trusts the plan of our leadership team to provide the proper tools for the program as we strive to become a premier mid-major basketball program that competes for championships on an annual basis. A.W., Chelsea, and their entire family have embraced our community, and we are thrilled to continue building something special together. I’d also like to give a special thanks to President David McFaddin, Chairman Lewis Diaz, our Board of Regents, and President’s Cabinet for their support in helping get this extension done, as well as their belief in the direction we’re pursuing.”
“There isn’t a better place to be the head coach than at Eastern Kentucky University,” Hamilton said. “This dream I have been living is not possible without people like President David McFaddin, Director of Athletics Matt Roan, and EKU Board Chair Lewis Diaz. Their support is unending and their belief in our program is unwavering. It is rare to find a group of people whose vision is aligned with yours, but working for these three is a complete blessing and honor. The four of us share a strong passion for our University.
“Thank you to the community and our amazing fans. Our team and staff are forever thankful for your support. As a group we will continue to pour back into our program, school and community the same energy and effort they pour in to us.”
In three years, Hamilton has built EKU into one of the top mid-major programs in the country.
The Colonels went 22-7 this season, were ranked as high as No. 12 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Top-25, and reached the Ohio Valley Conference semifinals for the second consecutive year.
Hamilton was named a finalist for the 2020-21 Hugh Durham Coach of the Year Award, given annually to the top Mid Major coach in college basketball.
Over the past two seasons, Hamilton – the 2020 OVC Coach of the Year and NABC District 18 Coach of the Year – has led EKU to a 27-11 record in OVC regular season games. The Colonels are notably 14-2 in two-possession / overtime games during that span.
“My staff and our student-athletes are a huge reason for our success,” Hamilton said. “I am grateful to be around each and every one of them every day. Heading into year four with our style and brand planted firmly here in Richmond, we look to capitalize on the momentum we have created and continue to represent EKU the right way on and off the floor.
“My wife Chelsea and I are thrilled to continue to raise our family in the beautiful town of Richmond. With the perfect blend of city and country life, we both know there is no better place to coach and live than right here with Kentucky’s finest.”
Here is a look at major EKU accomplishments under Hamilton during the 2020-21 season:
- 6-1 non-conference record was the best winning percentage since 1948-49 (72 years).
- 14-2 start to the season was the best start since 1946-47 (74 years).
- 7-1 start to OVC play was the best start since 1964-65 (56 years).
- Finished the season with the highest winning percentage (.759) since 1964-65 (56 years).
- Highest winning percentage of any NCAA Division I team in the Commonwealth of Kentucky during the 2020-2021 season at 76 percent, followed by Morehead State (74%), Western Kentucky (72%), Louisville (65%), Bellarmine (64%), Northern Kentucky (56%), Murray State (50%) and Kentucky (36%).
- 22 wins was the third-most in EKU program history.
- During the 2020 calendar year, EKU had more wins than any other NCAA Division I program in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Eastern had 21 wins, followed by WKU (20), Murray State (20), Louisville (19), Kentucky (17), Northern Kentucky (17), Bellarmine (13) and Morehead State (11).
- Ranked top 50 nationally in 14 categories:
- No. 1 steals per game
- No. 1 steals
- No. 2 turnovers forced per game
- No. 2 turnover margin
- No. 2 tempo/pace
- No. 8 scoring offense
- No. 10 three-pointers made
- No. 10 three-pointers attempted
- No. 15 assists
- No. 19 three-pointers made per game
- No. 22 winning percentage
- No. 29 assists per game
- No. 46 scoring margin
- No. 50 rebounds
Here is a look at major EKU records broken under Hamilton:
- 2020-21 Set EKU record for most OVC wins (15).
- 2020-21 Set EKU record for most OVC road wins (8).
- 2020-21 Set EKU record for steals per game (10.3).
- 2020-21 Tied the OVC record for 3-pointers made in a game against Tennessee-Martin (20) on Jan. 21.
- 2019-20 Set EKU record highest margin of victory in a single game (86).
- 2018-19 Set EKU record most points scored in single game (145).
- 2018-19 Set EKU record and OVC record for most points scored in a half (87).
- 2018-19 Set EKU record for most steals in a single game (28).
- 2018-19 Set EKU record for most field goals made in a single game (55).
- 2018-19 Set EKU record for most field goals attempted in a season (2,125).