Pete Hamilton ’11 returns to Randolph to head men’s basketball team
When Pete Hamilton ’11 first walked onto Randolph’s basketball court back in 2007, he had no idea of what to expect. A founding member of Randolph’s first men’s basketball team—and a member of the first coed class—Pete knew expectations were high. But nothing could prepare him for just how much his time at Randolph College would change his life.
“My time at Randolph helped me learn to be positive in a lot of different situations,” Pete said. “It was challenging at times, and there were moments when I didn’t know if I had made the right decision. But now, when I look back and see how I overcame those challenges, I know it was worth it.”
In July, Pete returned home to his alma mater— this time as the newest head men’s basketball coach. He took over for his former coach and mentor, Clay Nunley, who recently left for a position at another college. Sitting behind the desk of the same man who worked to build a successful program from scratch can be a little intimidating. But Pete is looking forward to the challenge.
“This is about more than having a head coach’s job,” he said. “This is about having the head coach’s job here at Randolph. This has been my dream. I was fortunate to be a part of this program, and it is great to come back here and continue that culture.”
A business major, Pete was an instrumental member of Randolph’s men’s basketball team. He still holds top 10 records in almost every category in the program’s record books, including for the most three-point field goals in a career. He and his teammates helped propel Randolph to its first Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championship game in 2011. After graduation, he went on to earn his master’s degree in business administration from Averett University, where he worked as an assistant basketball coach.
Pete has also coached at three other institutions, including Guilford College, Washington & Lee University, and Moravian College in Pennsylvania.
Pete still vividly remembers those games when the brand-new WildCats team stepped onto the court, facing—and sometimes beating—rivals who didn’t take them seriously.
“We didn’t want to just have a team,” he said. “We wanted success.”
He brings a different perspective both for his current players and the ones to come. “I’ve been in their shoes,” he said. “I’ve been a part of this program from the beginning. I’ve been a player, I’ve been a supporter, and now I’m lucky enough to be a coach.”
For Pete, what sets Randolph apart from its ODAC counterparts is the brotherhood that exists between current players and alumni, as well as the outstanding support the team receives from the College community.
“The community feel at Randolph is great,” Pete said. “I think athletes can walk around here and are recognized for their hard work on the basketball court and in the classroom. I plan to hold my players to the same high standards that I was held to academically, as well as on the court. I’m excited to move this program forward.”