FSU Basketball Announces Hiring Of New Assistant Coach

Florida State's newest assistant coach formerly played for Leonard Hamilton in the 1990s.
Oct 25, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA;  Florida State Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton speaks to the media during the ACC Tipoff at Hilton Charlotte Uptown. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 25, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton speaks to the media during the ACC Tipoff at Hilton Charlotte Uptown. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State has officially announced the hiring of its newest assistant basketball coach. East Carolina's Jake Morton will be joining the staff, filling in the vacancy left by Steve Smith's departure to Boston College last week. Morton played under Leonard Hamilton at Miami in the early 90s and will now be on his coaching staff for the first time. This move was first reported by CBS's Jon Rothstein last weekend.

READ MORE: Former FSU Basketball Star Wins First NBA Championship As a Coach With Boston Celtics

Morton has been at ECU for the last two seasons, and before that had been at Jacksonville State, Coppin State, Western Kentucky, Miami, James Madison, St. Francis (PA), and Bowie State (Division 2) since starting his coaching career in 2000. Outside of the three years in his return to Miami from 2008-2011, he's never been in a spot requiring him to recruit high-profile players.

"I am elated and honored to have the opportunity to work alongside a Hall of Fame coach in Coach Hamilton," Morton said according to a release from FSU. "Having the opportunity to play for him and to have him as a role model in my life for the last  36 years has been an absolute a-plus advantage for me in navigating my way through the world of college basketball. I am honored to have this opportunity to work with Coach Hamilton and his staff."

Leonard Hamilton reportedly has one year remaining on his contract and will be 76 years old when the season starts, facing serious doubt his contract will be renewed following the season. This is believed to be a major contributor in Coach Smith taking the job at Boston College, as he gets to join a former co-worker from Clemson and have a more secure long-term future.

Florida State is coming off a middling 17-16 season, and while they received great news recently with the return of Jamir Watkins, a lot of the top players from last season have departed and were replaced by a lot of inexperience and question marks.


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Austin Veazey

AUSTIN VEAZEY

Lead basketball writer; Former FSU Men's Basketball Manager from 2016-2019