Basketball

AW Hamilton leaves Hargrave for assistant job at NC State

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Former Marshall point guard A.W. Hamilton has officially accepted an Assistant 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 at Hargrave from 2006-2011 and also played for during the 1999-2000 season at Hargrave, according to a release from Hargrave Military Academy.
“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 said. Keatts was on the Marshall staff from 2001-03, covering Hamilton’s transfer season from Wake and his sophomore year at Marshall.
AW Hamilton-2

AW Hamilton, known to all Herd fans as “A-Dub,” brings the ball up the floor in the 2003-04 season for Greg White’s Marshall team. (HI file photo)

Hamilton leaves behind a sustained run of success that is seldom equaled by other coaches 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, so are the number of players pushed on to the Division 1 level and beyond during Hamilton’s tenure. All told, Hamilton coached 113 Division-I players in his 11-year tenure, including 63 in his six 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 selection, Boston Celtics) and Montrezl Harrell (32nd selection, 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, including current Marshall players in freshman players Iran Bennett and Tanner Robinette.
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AW Hamilton is flattened after making an assist pass for the Herd in 2003-04. (HI file photo)

“I will forever be a son of Hargrave,” Hamilton said. “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.
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 No. 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 Top 20 leaders in steals (No. 20, 107), assists (No. 10, 411), and 3-point field goal percentage (No. 14, 38.6%, tied with NKU head coach John Brannen and Tamar Slay, who works in administration in the NBA).
He played one season for former Herd head coach Greg White, then his junior and senior seasons for former Marshall head coach Ron Jirsa. He then worked as a graduate assistant for Jirsa’s staff in 2005-06 before heading back to Hargrave to work for Keatts. He led Marshall in steals and assists every year he played for the Thundering Herd and led the team in scoring at 11.0 points per game his senior year and in free throw percentage as well (.848).

About Woody Woodrum

Senior Editor and columnist/writer for Herd Insider since 2003, with Kindred Communications on radio for Marshall football/men's basketball pregame and postgame shows since 1996 and with First Sentry Bank Sportsline (Also Scott on Sports, Sideline Sports and Herd Insider Sportsline) since 1997. Married to Liz (12-22-1990) and one son, Tre' (11-7-1997). National Sportswriters & Sportscasters West Virginia Broadcaster of the Year winner for radio, 2000; won W.Va. Broadcasters Best Talk Show in 2013 with co-host Paul Swann and W.Va. Broadcasters Best Play-by-Play in 2015 with Jason Toy (Huntington at South Charleston, state AAA semifinals). Member of (College) Football Writers Association of America, (College) Basketball Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Color commentator for Marshall football (1999-2000), for Marshall basketball (2004-2016) and Marshall baseball (2004-2016). Color for high school football at Spring Valley (1999-2008), Cabell Midland (2009-2012) and Huntington (W.Va.) High School (2013-2016).

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