Eastern Kentucky University officially introduced A.W. Hamilton as its 21st men’s basketball head coach at a press conference inside McBrayer Arena on Wednesday, March 28.
“When I had a chance to come on the interview and meet with the search committee and the leadership of this university, I was absolutely blown away,” Hamilton said. “The vision and where they’re taking this university has me so excited. I wanted to show the search committee that, yes, I can coach, and, yes, I can recruit, but most importantly nobody has as much energy, enthusiasm and passion for Eastern Kentucky University than A.W. Hamilton. This is a dream come true for me to be standing here as your next head coach.”
Hamilton followed that up with a promise: “We’re going to play an exciting brand of basketball, one that the fans love and recruits want to play.”
He then invited the team up to the podium with him.
“We had our first team meeting last night, and these guys are incredible,” Hamilton said. “I’m so excited to coach these guys. I told them when I met them: ‘I didn’t recruit you here, but I’m going to re-recruit you and you’re going to be my guys.’ I also told them that I’m not going to stand up at the press conference tomorrow and promise that we’re going to win the OVC Championship next year. But what I will promise, and these guys are committed to doing this and they understand who I am … these guys will play harder and with more passion then anybody in the country, and they’re going to make you so proud.”
He followed that up by saying: “We are going to get to the top of the OVC, and when we get there, we’re going to stay there. I sleep four to six hours a night, and for the 18 hours a day that I’m awake I’ll be chasing an NCAA Tournament.
“When I was a kid," Hamilton concluded, "they always told me ‘dream big’ and, because of that, days like this are possible. I want to thank you all so much. Thank you for bringing me home. Go Colonels.”
Hamilton – a native of Georgetown, Kentucky and a graduate of Scott County High School – spent the 2017-18 season as an assistant under Kevin Keatts at North Carolina State University. He was the head coach at one of the top prep basketball programs in the country, Hargrave Military Academy, from 2011 to 2017.