/notables/2013/07/tcnj-coach-retires-in-face-of-suspension

TCNJ coach retires in face of suspension

More news about: TCNJ
Eric Hamilton won 212 games and took TCNJ to the playoffs five times.

Eric Hamilton walked on to Earl Dean Field in 1971 as a freshman playing for the Trenton State football team. Four decades later, he will bid a final farewell to the Lions' football program.

Hamilton, the head coach of The College of New Jersey football team for 37 years and the 2007 D3football.com East Region Coach of the Year, announced his retirement. A search for an interim head coach is underway.

Hamilton was facing a two-game suspension to start the season, stemming from a postgame incident last October vs. Kean.

“It is not easy and never a good time,” Hamilton told The Trentonian. “But maybe there is no better time than the present. After much discussion and soul searching (I) felt it was in the best interest of the program and me that I move forward.”

"For over 35 years, football has been the focus of my professional life," Hamilton said. "This fall, however, I will not be on the sidelines. I am extraordinarily grateful to all those who have played for me throughout the years and the loyal and dedicated coaches I was fortunate to have on my staff along with the alumni who have been the heart and soul of our football family. I am also appreciative of the many colleagues who have supported me and our program during my tenure, and my loving family for being the wind beneath my wings."

Hamilton compiled a record of 212-144-6, all of those wins and losses coming on the Lions' sideline. During his tenure, the Lions advanced to seven postseason appearances in the ECAC and the NCAA Division III championship tournament. TCNJ enjoyed NCAA playoff appearances in 1990, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2007, while garnering ECAC tournament bids in 1995 and 2003. In October 2010, he became just the 12th coach in Division III history to capture his 200th victory.

"Eric has been the face of our football program for nearly four decades," noted athletic director John Castaldo. "His coaching achievements rank amongst the best in the history of Division III football, but even more important, he has positively influenced the lives of so many young men. I wish him the very best in his retirement."

The Lions enjoyed 22 winning seasons under Hamilton and eight conference championships. The first in school history came in 1980 when his squad compiled an 8-1-1 record. They added conference titles in 1983, 1988, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2007.

Hamilton helped to solidify a choppy period of leadership with the Lions' football program in the early 1970s. After long-time coach Robert Salois retired in 1972, TSC had three head coaches over the next five years. When Carmen Piccone left his post after just two seasons in 1976, former athletic director Roy Van Ness turned to Hamilton, who was just 23 years old. When hired, Hamilton was the youngest collegiate head coach in the country.

A graduate of Bordentown High School, Hamilton was a scholar-athlete at Trenton State and an all-conference performer for three consecutive seasons. He left his mark at TSC as a player in 1974 when he became the first football player to earn All-American honors, receiving berths on the Kodak, Associated Press, and United Press International teams. He served as a graduate assistant for two seasons before being tabbed head coach of the program. In 1995, Hamilton was inducted into TCNJ's Athletic Hall of Fame.

Hamilton has received numerous coaching accolades during his career, including being selected Coach of the Year by the New Jersey College Football Writers Association two consecutive seasons in 1980 and 1981. Hamilton earned NJAC Coach of the Year honors in 1983, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2007 and was also cited by D3football.com as the East Region Coach of the Year after guiding the Lions to the NCAA tournament in 2007. In addition, Hamilton was the recipient of the National Football Foundations Chapter Leadership Award for the Eastern Region in 2002 and was recognized by the organization for his contributions to the sport.

In early 2012, Hamilton received the Robert Casciola Distinguished American Award, which was presented by the Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Football Foundation. In January, Hamilton was recognized by the American Football Coaches Association as the newest member of the Club 35. The AFCA honors those who have been members for 35 years.

Aug. 31: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Moravian at King's
Live stats Tickets
7:00 PM
Methodist at Campbell
7:00 PM
Alfred State at Coast Guard
Live stats
7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
Live stats
7:00 PM
Stevenson at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Wesley at Delaware Valley
7:00 PM
Mayville St. at Buena Vista
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
McMurry at Okla. Panhandle
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Curry
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Washington and Lee
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
FDU-Florham at TCNJ
7:00 PM
MIT at Becker
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Westfield State at Nichols
Video Live stats
7:30 PM
Anna Maria at WPI
Video Live stats
7:30 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater
Video Live stats
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Grove City at Juniata
Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Endicott
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Worcester State at Salve Regina
Live stats
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
Live stats
12:00 PM
Norwich at Morrisville State
Live stats
12:00 PM
Bethany at Ursinus
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Brockport at Hobart
12:00 PM
Augustana at Cortland
12:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Buffalo State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
Video Live stats Live stats
12:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Mount Union
Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Muhlenberg
1:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Oberlin
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Catholic at McDaniel
1:00 PM
Heidelberg at Olivet
Live stats
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Alma at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Castleton at Plymouth State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at John Carroll
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Alfred at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Merchant Marine
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Albion at Wabash
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Dickinson at Randolph-Macon
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bluffton at Wooster
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Husson
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Averett at Hampden-Sydney
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
Live stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at RPI
1:00 PM
Franklin at Thomas More
Live stats
1:00 PM
Greensboro at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Capital
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Defiance
Live stats
1:30 PM
Earlham at Wilmington
Live stats
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at UW-Stevens Point
2:00 PM
Carthage at Aurora
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Guilford at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Simpson
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Nebraska Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Rockford at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Finlandia at Concordia (Wis.)
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Bethel
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Grinnell at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Hamline at Crown
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Whitworth at Central
2:00 PM
Coe at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Ripon
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Presentation at Lawrence
Video
2:00 PM
George Fox at UW-Platteville
Live stats
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Beloit
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Austin at Bacone
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at La Verne
5:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Hartwick
6:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Adrian
Live stats Audio
6:00 PM
North Park at Anderson
7:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Southern Virginia
Live stats
7:00 PM
Brevard at Davidson
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
Live stats
7:00 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Marietta at Geneva
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Utica
7:00 PM
Southwestern at Denison
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
7:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
7:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Illinois College
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Trinity Int'l at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas-Permian Basin
7:00 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
7:00 PM
Wayland Baptist at Louisiana College
7:00 PM
Knox at Eureka
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Augsburg
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
8:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
8:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Benedictine
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
8:00 PM
Howard Payne at Southwestern Assemblies
10:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Redlands
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Willamette
Live stats
Maintenance in progress.