Thanks to great sources who had HoopDirt.com out in front of this one first yesterday. It’s now been made official, A.W. Hamilton has accepted an Aasistant coach position at N.C. State. Hamilton has served as Head Coach of the Hargrave Military Academy basketball program since 2011, after serving as the assistant coach at Hargrave for the five seasons prior. He will be reunited with current N.C. State and former Hargrave Head Coach Kevin Keatts, whom Hamilton coached under during his stint as an assistant coach from 2006-2011 and also played for during the 1999-2000 season at Hargrave.
“Since 1999, [Kevin Keatts] has been more than just a coach; he has been like a second father to me. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to work for someone that I respect as much as a man, and who I view as the best college coach in the country.” A.W. Hamilton commented.
Hamilton leaves behind a sustained run of success that is scarcely—if ever—seen at the prep school level. In his six years as Head Coach, Hamilton amassed a record of 237 wins against just 22 losses, including a remarkable 120-2 mark at home in Hargrave’s Walter Davis Gymnasium. To that end, Hamilton ends his Hargrave career, riding an active 75-game home winning streak, with his last home loss coming in 2014. Hamilton earned a number of prestigious awards during his tenure, including recognition as National Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2016 and Regional Coach of the Year in 2014, 2015 and 2017 respectively.
The move for Hamilton comes on the heels of one of the best runs in the history of prep basketball in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. Hamilton’s teams achieved a 90-3 record across the two seasons, bringing home the 2016 National Prep Championship and reaching the National Final Four in 2017. During that stretch, Hamilton’s teams won 45 games in a row and went 364 days without losing a single game. Along the way, they set school records for wins in a season (47, 2016) and points scored in a game (163, 2017).
While the on-court performances of Hamilton’s teams were impressive, the amount of players pushed on to the Division 1 level and beyond during Hamilton’s tenure is arguably more so. All told, Hamilton coached 113 Division 1 players in his 11-year tenure, including 63 in his 6 years as head coach. This number also includes nine players that reached basketball’s brightest stage; the NBA. In the 2015 NBA Draft, Hamilton had two former players selected: Terry Rozier (16th, Boston Celtics) and Montrezl Harrell (32nd, Houston Rockets). In the past two years, 34 of Hamilton’s players have signed full basketball scholarships, including 25 at the Division 1 level. This year’s team tied a school record with 13 players committed to Division 1 schools.
Hamilton had a distinguished career as a player before joining the coaching ranks, including a stint as team captain at Hargrave Military Academy in the 1999-2000 season. That team, coached by Kevin Keatts, earned a #2 national ranking while racking up a 23-3 record. Hamilton then accepted a basketball scholarship to Wake Forest University before transferring to Marshall University, where he was a three year captain and ranks among the school’s all-time leaders in steals and assists.
“I will forever be a son of Hargrave. I’m thankful for all the players and coaches that worked hard daily towards a common goal. I’m also thankful for the immeasurable support behind the scenes that I received at Hargrave from the staff, our incredible fans, Col. Baker, BG Broome, the Board of Trustees, and in particular, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Davenport. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t thank my lovely wife, Chelsea, for being by my side through thick and thin. While I’m excited for the next chapter of my life and career, I will always be proud to say that I am a product of Hargrave Military Academy.” said Hamilton.