Past Pacer hoops star Hamilton joins latest Tennessee Hall class

Past Pacer hoops star Hamilton joins latest Tennessee Hall class

Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012 12:00 pm

Next year’s Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame class will include an inductee from Tennessee-Martin
Former UT Martin basketball player Leonard Hamilton will be part of the 2013 induction class next May in Nashville.
The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame announced Tuesday the names of 11 inductees to be enshrined at its annual Induction Banquet on May 4 at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville.
In addition to Hamilton; other inductees will include former Union City High School and Vanderbilt basketball standout John Ed Miller; Rick Byrd, basketball coach at Belmont; Penny Hardaway, University of Memphis and NBA basketball star; Kelly Holcomb, NFL football player and Middle Tennessee State star; Chris Jones, basketball standout and coach at Carson-Newman; Larry Seivers, All-America wide receiver at Tennessee; Trey Teague, outstanding center at Tennessee and the Denver Broncos and Frank Wychek, All-pro tight end for the Tennessee Titans.
Also to be inducted posthumous will be longtime radio and TV announcer Bob Bell and standout Morristown athlete and later coach Ermal Allen.
Hamilton, current Florida State head basketball coach, had a brilliant college career at UTM.
The school’s first black athlete, Hamilton set a school record, which has since been broken, with 206 assists at UT Martin from 1969-71.
As a senior, he averaged 11.7 points a game, was named the team’s most valuable player and best defensive player, was selected on the all-conference first team and was selected to the Tennessee-Kentucky All-Star team.
He was recognized as a leader among his peers and was named Mr. UTM by the student body.
Hamilton then embarked on a long and distinguished career in coaching, beginning in 1971-72 as a graduate assistant at Austin Peay. The Governors advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1973 and had the OVC’s  Player of the Year, “Fly” Williams, in 1974.
After three years in Clarksville, Hamilton moved on to Lexington and the tradition-rich University of Kentucky program, where he served 12 years as an assistant coach and associate head coach.
The Wildcats won the national championship in 1978, won the NIT title in 1976 and either won or shared eight SEC championships.
Hamilton’s first head coaching job was at Oklahoma State, where he posted a 56-63 record from 1986-90 and guided the Cowboys to a pair of NIT berths.
In 1990, he took over at Miami and led the Hurricanes to a 144-147 mark in 10 years with three NCAA Tournament spots and two NIT trips. After a one-year tenure with the Washingon Wizards of the NBA, he returned to the Sunshine State to take over at Florida State in 2002 and currently has a 201-127 record in 10 years at the school.
His Seminoles have reached the NCAA Tournament four times and the NIT four times. FSU won the ACC championship last season, the first in school history, by defeating Duke in the semifinals and North Carolina in the championship game.
In Hamilton’s three head coaching stops, he has coached wins against Top 25 teams 46 times and coached in 27 national postseason tournament games. In his 39 years cooaching at the collegiate level, 48 of his players have been drafted into the NBA.
Hamilton was the first coach to be named coach of the year in both the Big East and ACC.
Miller scored over 1,300 points in his prep career, helping UC to three straight state tournament appearances with a runner-up finish in 1960.
He was a two-time all-state tourney pick and All-State selection as a senior.
At Vanderbilt, he was the captain of the 1965 SEC Championship team, the first Commodore team to win a regular season SEC title.
After graduating from Vanderbilt, he served in the US Navy before starting his 35 year career at Bell South.
Miller has served on the Board of Directors on over 15 community organizations, earning him the reputation of selfless service to his community.
Byrd continues to rewrite the coaching record books. With 637 career victories, Byrd ranks eighth among all active NCAA Division-I head coaches in wins.
Hardaway was drafted third overall in the 1993 NBA Draft and went on to make the first of four straight All-Star Game appearances.
MTSU went 31-16 during Holcomb’s career with an OVC championship and three NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances.
An outstanding basketball player, Jones played in four National AAU Tournaments and the World Cup. He was drafted by NBA Cincinnati Royals and ABL Kansas City Steers.
After his professional career, Jones returned to Carson-Newman as coach in 1981, where he averaged 30 wins a year the first four years.
A native of Clinton, Seivers totaled 347 yards as a sophomore but exploded in 1975 for 840 yards on 41 receptions.
It was the first time any Tennessee receiver topped the 800-yard mark in a season, earning him All-America honors.
The following year, Seivers caught 51 passes for 737 yards and was again named All-America.
While at Tennessee centering the ball to Peyton Manning, Teague earned Associated Press All-SEC honors in 1997.
Tennessee lead the nation in total offense that season, averaging 482 yards per game in winning the SEC championship.
Starring as a tight end for the Tennessee Titans, Wychek caught 505 career passes for 5,126 yards and 28 touchdowns
Bell is best known for over 50 years in broadcasting, starting in the business as a 19-year old.
Allen was a standout high school athlete in Morristown and former star athlete at the University of Kentucky who made sports his career.
Allen played or coached under some of the most successful football and basketball coaches in history, including General Robert R. Neyland, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Adolph Rupp, Paul Brown and Blanton Collier. Published in The WCP 10.4.12

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