Brad Brownell shares respect for Leonard Hamilton as Hall of Fame coach

On3 imageby:Grant Grubbs02/25/24

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While Clemson head coach Brad Brownell walked away with the win over Florida State on Saturday, he hasn’t forgotten Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton’s accomplishments. After the game, Brownell paid ode to the storied ACC coach.

“Coach Hamilton is a Hall of Famer,” Brownell said. “[I have] a lot of respect for him. All good programs have an identity. Florida State has an identity. They recruit to it. They coach to it. Their kids play [to it]. It’s challenging and it’s different.

“It’s unique and it’s been proven to be very successful year after year. We’re all going to have a year or two that’s down, where you’re a little younger, have injuries or you lose a few more close games the another year — those things happen. But, he had a stretch there five or six years where they were elite.”

Florida State has lost its last four meetings with Clemson. However, from Feb. 5, 2017 to Dec. 8, 2019, FSU boasted a 6-1 record against the Tigers. FSU’s success in the rivalry wasn’t a coincidence.

From the 2016-17 season to the 2020-21 season, FSU finished in either the AP Top 25 or USA Today Coaches’ Poll every year. Most notably, Hamilton guided his Seminoles to a 26-5 record and first place finish in the ACC in the 2019-20 campaign.

Unfortunately, FSU fans weren’t able to witness what the historic team was capable of due to COVID-19 forcing the NCAA to cancel postseason play. While Hamilton hasn’t been able to boost his Seminoles to such heights in his 22nd season at the helm, Hamilton knows the 75-year-old head coach is still making a massive impact.

“How he’s helped black coaches and shown what those guys can do is great for our league. It’s great for college basketball,” Brownell said. “I’ve been battling those guys for 14 years and it’s hard and so I just give them a lot of credit and him a lot of credit for establishing a different, unique style that certainly has fit their school and and his system.”

Leonard Hamilton nearly turned back the clock in Florida State’s latest matchup against Clemson, cutting a 16-point lead down to five. However, the Seminoles couldn’t find their footing down the stretch and ultimately fell to the Tigers.

With the loss, Florida State falls to 14-13 overall and 8-8 in the ACC. In contrast, Clemson improves to 19-7 and 9-7.