MARTIN, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin alum Leonard Hamilton was one of 11 inductees to be enshrined in the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013 ceremony, which was held on Saturday, May 3 at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville.
On hand to welcome Hamilton into the exclusive club was UT Martin chancellor Dr. Tom Rakes, director of athletics Phil Dane, men’s basketball alums Mike Rudolphi, Jack Bendure, Harold Wilson, Darrell Wilson, Dave Mason and Ron “Mountaineer” Wilcox, former UT Martin assistant coach Roger Shore, as well as Hamilton’s UT Martin fraternity brothers Wally Brown and Arthur Boykin.
Hamilton, currently the head men’s basketball coach at Florida State University, was a two-year letterman for head coach Floyd Burdette at UT Martin from 1969-71. He helped UT Martin to a 1969-70 Volunteer State Athletic Conference championship and graduated with the school’s all-time assists record (206).
For his career, Hamilton averaged 11.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists over 49 games. Most importantly though, he paved the way for several future Skyhawks – as he was the first African-American athlete to compete in any sport for UT Martin. He was inducted into the inaugural 1983 UT Martin Athletics Hall of Fame class.
Hamilton’s 40 year coaching career has included head coaching stops at Florida State (2002-current), the NBA’s Washington Wizards (2000-01), Miami (1990-2000) and Oklahoma State (1986-90). He also served in assistant coaching roles at Kentucky (1974-86) and Austin Peay (1971-74).