EKU’s Hamilton Receives Contract Extension

Eastern Kentucky University secured men’s basketball head coach A.W. Hamilton with a contract extension through the 2027-28 season, the university announced today.

Hamilton led EKU to the 2023-24 Atlantic Sun Conference Regular Season Championship.  It was the first regular season conference title for the Colonels in 45 years (1979).  Hamilton was chosen as the ASUN Coach of the Year and the NABC District III Coach of the Year.  He is the first coach in program history to be named conference coach of the year two times.

“It’s a great day for EKU men’s basketball.  We are excited to have coach Hamilton continue to lead this talented group of student-athletes,” said EKU President David McFaddin.  “Under coach Hamilton’s leadership, EKU men’s basketball has achieved record-breaking seasons, multiple postseason appearances and remarkable player development.  His successful recruitment of high-caliber talent and dedication to community engagement have significantly elevated EKU and our athletics program.”

Hamilton has taken Colonel basketball to heights very few coaches who came before him have reached.  In many cases he has accomplished what no EKU men’s basketball head coach has ever done.

In his first six seasons as head coach, the Colonels broke 68 program records.  In 2022-23, Hamilton led the team to 23 wins, the third most in one season in program history.  In 2020-21, EKU won 22 games, tied for the fourth-most in program history.  That means Hamilton has coached two of the five winningest teams ever in addition to one of only seven regular season conference championship teams.  He is one of only three coaches in program history to lead the Colonels to multiple 20-win seasons.  Hamilton is the only EKU coach to lead his team to 12 or more conference wins in a season four different times.

“From my first day on campus to entering my seventh year, Dr. McFaddin has shown a belief in me that has propelled me.  His unwavering support and commitment to our men’s basketball program is something I can never thank him enough for,” Hamilton said.  “With the help of my staff, I am as excited as ever about the direction our program is going.  My family and I love Richmond, and it’s been a dream come true being the basketball coach at EKU.  I’m forever grateful for our fans, and can truly say there’s no place like home.”

Hamilton’s brand of basketball – “The Most Exciting 40 Minutes in Sports” – has resonated with Colonel fans.  A new record for season tickets was set in 2021-22 and again in 2022-23.  The crowd of 6,303 for the game against Western Kentucky on Nov. 10, 2022 was the largest in more than 20 seasons.  EKU led the ASUN in average home attendance in 2022-23, the first time a Colonel team had ever led its conference in attendance, and then led the league in attendance again in 2023-24. 

As part of “The Most Exciting 40 Minutes In Sports”, in three of the past four seasons Hamilton’s teams have led the conference in scoring.  EKU was the eighth highest scoring team in the nation in 2020-21, averaging more than 80 points per game, the 16th highest scoring team in 2021-22, 30th in 2022-23 and 29th in 2023-24 with an average of 81 points per game.

In five of Hamilton’s six seasons as head coach the Colonels have led the conference in steals and turnovers forced, ranking among the top-10 in the nation four of the last six years.  In addition to scoring, steals and turnovers forced, EKU has consistently been among the conference and national leaders in assists and 3-pointers as well.

In his first six seasons as head coach, Hamilton has tutored nine all-conference selections, a conference player of the year, a conference defensive player of the year, three all-freshman/newcomer honorees and two conference all-tournament picks.

This past season, EKU won its first seven conference games, which tied the best start to conference play in program history.  No squad had started the league schedule with seven straight wins since 1959-60.

A win over Jacksonville on Jan. 25 was Hamilton’s 97th as coach of the Colonels.  He moved past Max Good (96) as the fourth winningest coach in program history.  Paul McBrayer (214), Jeff Neubauer (188) and Rome Rankin (135) make up the top three.  Hamilton finished his sixth season with 104 wins.

In his second year under Hamilton’s tutelage, Isaiah Cozart turned in one of the most impressive seasons in program history.  Cozart was chosen as the 2024 ASUN Player of the Year and the ASUN Defensive Player of the Year.  He was the first player in conference history to earn player and defensive player of the year recognition in the same season.  Cozart was also chosen First Team All-ASUN, First Team NABC All-District and played in the Reese’s Division I All-Star Game in Phoenix during the Final Four.  Following the season, Cozart was selected as a finalist for the 2024 Lou Henson National Mid-Major Player of the Year Award and the 2024 Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year Award.  In April, he was invited to the prestigious Portsmouth Invitational, a pre-NBA Draft Combine tournament.

In addition to Cozart’s success on the court, one of Hamilton’s first recruits concluded his decorated career this past season.  Michael Moreno ended his career first in program history in 3-pointers made (334) and games played (161), second in rebounds (958), sixth in scoring (1,631) and eighth in steals (168).  During EKU’s game at Stetson on Moreno grabbed his 900th career rebound becoming the only player in program history with 1,500 points and 900 rebounds.


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