State Now

N.C. State's Hamilton finalist at Eastern Kentucky

N.C. State assistant basketball coach A.W. Hamilton is a finalist to become Eastern Kentucky’s head coach.

Eastern Kentucky athletics department spokesman Steve Fohl said Wednesday that Hamilton interviewed with the school’s search committee and met with current players on campus Tuesday. That’s one day after Purdue assistant Greg Gary was on campus for similar meetings, Fohl said.

The Richmond (Ky.) Register reported Wednesday that a decision is expected this week on the new coach.

Hamilton, a Kentucky native, just completed his first season as an assistant on N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts’ staff. Together, they helped the Wolfpack to a 21-12 record, including 11-7 in ACC play, and the school’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 2015.

Hamilton played for Keatts at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia before later joining his staff as an assistant coach. When Keatts left Hargrave to join Louisville’s staff as an assistant coach in 2011, Hamilton became Hargrave’s head coach.

In six seasons, he compiled a 237-22 record, winning national coach of the year awards in 2012 and 2016.

Hamilton’s playing career including helping Scott County High School win the 1998 Kentucky state championship. A first-team all-state player as a senior at the Georgetown, Kentucky, school, Hamilton played a post-graduate year at Hargrave.

After beginning his career at Wake Forest, he transferred to Marshall where he was the team’s captain his final three seasons from 2002-05.

Eastern Kentucky, which plays in the Ohio Valley Conference, fired coach Don McHale earlier this month after three losing seasons. The Colonels went 11-20 this season and 38-55 over McHale’s tenure.

Eastern Kentucky last made the NCAA tournament in 2014.