BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball head coach A.W. Hamilton has been voted the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year, the league announced on Tuesday.
Hamilton is the first EKU coach to win the award since Max Good in 1986-87.
In his second season in Richmond, Hamilton led Eastern to an impressive turnaround. After going 6-12 in the OVC in 2018-19, the Colonels went 12-6 this year, earning a No. 4 seed and first-round bye in the upcoming OVC Tournament.
EKU’s 12 conference wins this season are tied for the second-most in program history. The 2019-20 Colonels are one of only four EKU teams ever to win 12 or more OVC games, joining the 1964-65 (13), 2006-07 (13) and 2012-13 (12) squads.
Following a tough non-conference slate, Hamilton rallied EKU to a 9-2 conference start. It was the Colonels’ best OVC start in 41 years.
Hamilton has installed a fast-paced offense and pressure defense that saw the Colonels rank fifth nationally in forced turnovers (18.23/game), ninth in steals (9.2/game) and 12th in turnover margin (+4.2/game) during the regular season.
Hamilton is the fifth EKU individual to be named OVC Coach of the Year, joining Jim Baechtold (1964-65), Guy Strong (1971-72), Ed Byhre (1978-79) and Good (1986-87).
The Colonels open OVC Tournament play versus the winner of No. 5 Tennessee State / No. 8 Morehead State in the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will stream live on ESPN+.