The Daily Nole

Fun Fact Friday: The ACC Has Three of Men’s College Basketball’s Five Oldest Active Head Coaches

Bill Pearce/FSU athletics

Earlier this month, Florida State head basketball coach Leonard Hamilton turned 71 years old.

Set to enter his 18th season as head man of the Seminoles, Hamilton is one of the oldest coaches in Division I men’s basketball. Interesting enough, he’s not the oldest coach in the ACC.

When looking at the oldest head coaches in college basketball, three of the five oldest currently coach in the ACC. Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, currently 74, is the oldest Division I head coach. Ranking third in that category is another ACC coach and another legend in Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.

Krzyzewski turned 72 earlier this year. At 71, Hamilton is the fifth-oldest head coach in the nation. Aside from his ACC colleagues, the only two Division I head coaches older than Hamilton are Coastal Carolina’s Cliff Ellis, 73, and Marshall’s Dan D’Antoni, 72. If that last name sounds familiar, he is the older brother of Houston Rockets’ head coach Mike D’Antoni.

As for Hamilton, he is easily the longest tenured head coach in FSU program history and the school’s all-time wins leader with 354 victories in Tallahassee and 554 total for his career. The only black coach in conference history to win multiple ACC Coach of the Year awards, Hamilton coached the Seminoles to a school-record 29 wins and 13 ACC victories last season while returning to the Sweet 16 for a second straight season.

In 17 seasons at FSU, Hamilton has led Florida State to the NCAA Tournament seven times and past the first weekend on three occasions, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2018. In 2012, Hamilton coached the Seminoles to their first and only ACC championship.

Now 71, Hamilton shows no signs of slowing down and may actually be getting better with age. Over the last three seasons, the Seminoles have averaged 26 wins. That’s more than the Seminoles had in any season prior since reaching the national championship under Hugh Durham during the 1971-72 season.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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