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Seminoles give Leonard Hamilton a 2-year extension

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For those Florida State basketball fans hoping Leonard Hamilton would be coaching somewhere else next year, you have a mental adjustment to make. On Wednesday, FSU and Hamilton announced an agreement in principle that would keep the program’s all-time winningest coach in Tallahassee at least two more seasons.

Hamilton is a two-time ACC Coach of the Year and among the top 10 winningest coaches in conference history. During his 14 years at Florida State, he has accumulated 252 victories. In 2012, the Seminoles won the ACC Championship.

Florida State has missed the NCAA tournament the past three seasons and unless they win the ACC tournament, that string will most likely reach four. Hamilton has shown he can bring high-quality talent to Tallahassee, but critics point to the tournament absence as reasons they want another coach.

“Our goal is to be in the NCAA tournament annually,” Athletic Director Stan Wilcox said. “Leonard has led this program admirably since 2002. This extension positions him to continue attracting the kind of talent we need to compete in the ACC and nationally.”

Hamilton already has a solid recruiting class coming to Florida State next season. According to Rivals.com, the Seminoles have the eighth-best class led by power forward Jonathan Isaac from Bradenton’s IMG Academy.

“I am pleased with the faith President (John) Thrasher and Stan have shown in me,” said Hamilton. “We feel good about our program and its direction, and we are excited about the future.”

The extension would keep Hamilton on the FSU bench through the 2018-19 season. His immediate mission is have his current team pull out of a funk that has seen four consecutive disappoint defeats.

Florida State travels to Duke on Thursday.

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Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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