Johnson City, Tenn. -- East Tennessee State football head coach Paul Hamilton signed a two-year contract extension that lasts through the 2003 football season.
"I appreciate the opportunity that Dr. Paul Stanton and Todd Stansbury have given me to be the head football coach at ETSU," Hamilton said. "I am very optimistic and enthused about the future of this program and am looking foward to accomplishing our ultimate goals at ETSU."
"Coach Paul Hamilton has done an incredible job of building a winning foundation," athletic director Todd Stansbury said. "He has returned ETSU football to national prominence. The Bucs have catapulted to the top tier of the Southern Conference which equates with national success."
Since arriving in 1997, Hamilton and his staff have revived the Buccaneer football program. The Bucs have enjoyed winning seasons in three of his four years and Hamilton is the first head coach to accomplish back-to-back winning seasons since 1969-70. He is the first coach since 1956 to have three winning seasons in a four-year span.
The Charleston, S.C. native, is the winningest coach after four years in ETSU football history (23 victories). During Hamiltons tenure the Bucs have played in the formidable Southern Conference, along with facing Division I powers -- Miami, Mississippi State, Colorado State and Middle Tennessee State.
The Bucs are the fourth winningest program in the SoCon over the past four years, behind Georgia Southern, Appalachian State and Furman. The Bucs have defeated Furman three of the last four years. ETSU has won 16 games in the SoCon under Hamilton, the most by any coach in program history.
Hamilton has guided 23 All-Southern Conference performers, four NCAA All-Americans, two Buck Buchannon nominees and the 1997 Southern Conference Male Athlete of the Year (B.J. Adigun). During Hamiltons four years at ETSU, many program records have fallen. Hamiltons teams have set records in total offense, points per game and yards per play. He has coached the Southern Conferences All-Time Total Offense leader (Todd Wells), as well as ETSUs all-time leading rusher (Brandon Walker), receiver (Adigun), scoring leader (Walker) and tackler (Mario Hankerson).
Not only have Hamiltons athletes performed on the field, but they have excelled in the classroom and in the community. During the past two springs the football team has recorded its highest grade point average (as a team) over the past 12 years. The ETSU football program also conducts a Toys-for-Tots drive every Christmas and participates in the Communities in School Program. The Bucs are also instrumental in the Souper Bowl for the Hungry.