Paul Hamilton | Head Coach
Alma Mater: Appalachian State 1981, The Citadel 1986
Head Coach Paul Hamilton enters his 34th year coaching collegiate football at both the Division I and Division II levels, with 17 years of experience as a head coach. Hamilton is in his ninth year at the helm of the Tornados.
The 2014 Tornados featured one of the nation's best offenses, averaging 321.6 rushing yards per game to finish sixth nationally. Brevard rushed for 562 yards in a win over College of Faith, the second-highest total of any Division II team all season, and surpassed 250 rushing yards in eight games. Brevard also led the nation in red zone efficiency (93.2 percent), were second in time of possession (35:31), and finished third in fourth down conversions (75.9 percent). Brevard also finished in the top 10 nationally in yards per completion and penalties, setting 58 team or individual school records during the season. Three players made postseason all-star game appearances, including two by Cliff Harris Award finalist Micahel Gruber, and the Tornados had five players named all-conference.
Hamilton also received one of his biggest coaching honors after the 2014 season, earning a selection to the Medal of Honor Bowl coaching staff alongside three coaches who had been former colleagues. The American Team staff also included his father Rusty, who became a fixture in Charleston, South Carolina-area high school football during a coaching career spanning several decades.
In 2013, Hamilton guided the Tornados to a three-win campaign that saw a number of statistical highlights. His quarterbacks led the conference in passing efficiency and ranked third nationally in yards per completed pass. In addition to being disciplined, committing just 12 turnovers on the season for the fifth-best total in Division II and ranking third nationally in penalties, Hamilton coached a trio of All-Region performers and an Honorable Mention All-American linebacker in Michael Gruber.
In 2012, Brevard was the least-penalized team in Division II football as Hamilton led Jordan Ollis (FB) and Eric Watts (P) to Don Hansen’s Division II All-America Team. BC also toppled formerly nationally- ranked Newberry 27-13 in its season finale on November 10th.
The 2011 season saw Brevard again in the top 10 in the NCAA DII in rushing as the Tornados finished eighth in the nation. The Tornados also had a school record seven players named to the postseason All-SAC team and their first two All-Americans in program history in Caleb Campbell (OL) and Jack Woerner (FB).
In the 2010 season, the Tornados finished with the NCAA DII’s third ranked rushing attack and saw five players named to the All-SAC postseason team, including the SAC Offensive Freshman of the year, Kelvin Jeter.
The Tornados finished 7-4 in 2009 with wins against SAC opponents Lenoir-Rhyne, Tusculum and Catawba. The turnaround from the 2008 season, when they finished 1-9 in their first year in the SAC, was recognized as the 11th best in Division II that year by Somis Sports.
Coach Hamilton’s squad, which only had a month of preparation under the head coach prior to the start of the 2007 season, recorded home wins over both Chowan University and LaGrange College. In 2007, the Tornados improved in every statistical category as they competed as provisional members of both the NCAA Division II level and of the South Atlantic Conference, which had four different teams ranked throughout the season.
Hamilton began his collegiate football coaching career at the Citadel in 1981 where he coached the receivers. He then moved on to East Tennessee State University where he coached the receivers in 1983 before coaching the quarterbacks in 1984-1985 and 1986-1987. Hamilton coached the quarterbacks and served as the offensive coordinator at Wofford College in 1988-1989.
Coach Hamilton served his first coaching stint with the U.S. Air Force Academy from 1990-1996. During his last three seasons, he called the offensive plays for the Falcons in addition to serving as the quarterbacks coach. Air Force competed in four bowl games during Hamilton’s time there and ranked second nationally in rushing and in the top-25 total offense four times.
While at Air Force, Hamilton coached quarterback Beau Morgan, who finished in the top-10 in the Heisman Trophy voting and was named a third-team Associated Press All-American in 1996. Under Hamilton’s guidance, Morgan became the first player in NCAA history to pass and rush for over 1,000 yards in two different seasons. He also broke the NCAA single season rushing record for a quarterback, and became only the second player in NCAA history to run and pass for 3,000 yards in a career.
Hamilton’s first break as a head coach came at East Tennessee State, where he coached from 1997-2003 and amassed a record of 38-41.
During his first season at ETSU, Hamilton’s team led the Southern Conference in total offense, total defense and boasted the league’s Male Athlete of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. The team’s 7-4 record in 1997 tied as the second highest win total ever by a Buccaneer squad and gave Hamilton the best record ever by a first-year head coach at ETSU. The Buccaneers set three single-season team records in 1997, including the marks for points per game and total offense per game. ETSU was ranked in the top-25 throughout much of the season, as two of Hamilton’s players were named first-team All-Americans by the Associated Press and the Sports Network.
Hamilton then moved on to be the head coach at Elon in 2004 and 2005. In his first season as head coach he guided the Phoenix to two Southern Conference victories, a first in the school’s young history as a conference member. He posted a 6-16 record at Elon over the two year span where he coached seven All-Southern Conference players, five Southern Conference Athletes of the Month, two Academic All-Conference players and one Academic All-American.
In 2006, Hamilton returned to the Air Force Academy to coach the fullbacks for his former college coach, Fisher DeBerry.
Hamilton graduated in 1981 from Appalachian State University where he lettered for three years as quarterback under DeBerry. Hamilton earned his master’s degree in secondary education from The Citadel in 1986.
Hamilton and his wife, Jane, a native of Spruce Pine, North Carolina, have three children – a son, Kye and two daughters, Jenna and Alanna.
Hamilton's Head Coaching Record
1997 East Tennessee State 7-4 (5-3 SoCon)
1998 East Tennessee State 4-7 (3-5 SoCon)
1999 East Tennessee State 6-5 (4-4 SoCon)
2000 East Tennessee State 6-5 (4-4 SoCon)
2001 East Tennessee State 6-5 (4-4 SoCon)
2002 East Tennessee State 4-8 (2-6 SoCon)
2003 East Tennessee State 5-7 (2-6 SoCon)
2004 Elon 3-8 (2-5 SoCon)
2005 Elon 3-8 (0-7 SoCon)
2007 Brevard 2-9 (0-0 SAC)
2008 Brevard 1-9 (0-7 SAC)
2009 Brevard 7-4 (3-4 SAC)
2010 Brevard 4-7 (1-6 SAC)
2011 Brevard 3-8 (1-6 SAC)
2012 Brevard 2-9 (1-6 SAC)
2013 Brevard 3-8 (2-5 SAC)
2014 Brevard 1-10 (0-7 SAC)
CAREER 68-121 (26-44 SoCon) (8-41 SAC)