Cougars play host to C-USA rival Tulane at 1 p.m., Saturday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion
Head coach James Dickey, student-athletes speak to members of local media
Ronnie Hamilton became the newest member of the Houston Basketball coaching staff with his hiring in July 2012. He will assist in all coaching aspects with the Cougars, including practices, recruiting and scouting opponents.
Hamilton, a native of Oxford, N.C., came to Houston after a two-year stint at Conference USA-rival Tulane. As a member of the Tulane staff, he was instrumental in the recruiting of guard Ricky Tarrant, who was named to the 2012 All-Conference USA First Team and was recognized as the league's Freshman of the Year in his inaugural collegiate season.
"I have a great deal of respect for Coach Dickey and his staff, and I have always been fond of the city of Houston and the state of Texas from my previous time coaching here," Hamilton said. "Houston is a great academic institution with a long tradition in basketball. All of those factors sold me on this opportunity. It's a dream come true to be a part of such a great staff and to be able to help Houston Basketball add to its long history of success as we move forward into the BIG EAST Conference."
"Ronnie will be an outstanding addition to our program," head coach James Dickey said. "He brings a lot of energy, work ethic and has developed an outstanding reputation as a coach and as a recruiter. Ronnie will be a mentor, role model and leader for our young men, and we welcome him to the University of Houston."
Prior to his Tulane stint, Hamilton served for Conroy for two seasons (2008-10) at The Citadel. There, he played a key role in the development and recruitment of All-Southern Conference honoree and mid-major All-Americans Demetrius Nelson, John Brown, Michael Groselle and Cameron Wells, a product of Houston's Bellaire High.
Those student-athletes helped lead The Citadel to 36 wins during his tenure, including a school-record-tying 20 victories during the 2008-09 campaign.
Hamilton, who hails from the same hometown as former NBA player and coach John Lucas, worked at Tarleton State from 2005 to 2008, compiling a 70-23 record during that time with wins against Baylor and TCU. In his first season with the Texans in 2005-06, he helped lead the program to their second straight Elite Eight finish and a 27-7 overall record.
He entered the collegiate coaching ranks as a graduate assistant coach at North Carolina-Pembroke for two seasons (2003-05). There, he was responsible for planning practices, leading on-floor coaching, heading the strength and conditioning program and handling film exchange. He also served as the Braves' recruiting coordinator.
He earned his master's degree in physical education with a concentration in sports administration from North Carolina-Pembroke in 2005.
Hamilton began his coaching career as a football assistant and track and field coach at Jack Britt High in Fayetteville, N.C., and also taught world history and geography.
He received his bachelor's degree in political science and history from Duke in 2002 following an award-winning playing career on the football team. A four-year scholarship student-athlete, Hamilton started as a true freshman and served as team captain as a senior.
In 2002, he ranked fourth in the nation in punt return average and received the Iron Duke Award. He received the Co-Outstanding Special Teams Player and the Outstanding Defensive Back awards while also being named All-Atlantic Coast Conference Honorable Mention. In 1999, he was named the Blue Devils' Most Improved Defensive Back.
Following his graduation in 2002, Hamilton was invited to training camp with the New York Giants.
Before attending Duke, Hamilton was a two-sport star in football and basketball at J.F. Webb High School in Oxford, N.C.
He is married to the former Christabell Mariner, and they have a daughter, Annalisa Nola Afaksi, born in February 2013.