Source: FSU trying to keep Hamilton

Leonard Hamilton (US Presswire)

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton is rumored to be a legit candidate to take the same post at Illinois, but the decision makers for the 'Noles are making a genuine effort to keep him in Tallahassee.

Florida State is negotiating with representatives of men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton to extend his current deal, a person familiar with the situation said Thursday.

Hamilton has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the Illinois job, but no school has contacted FSU requesting permission to interview the coach, the person told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the contract talks have not been announced.

Hamilton is 201-127 in 10 seasons at Florida State and 95-41 in the last four years, including two trips to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

He earns $1.5 million annually and received bonuses totaling another $175,000 this year for winning the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and being named ACC Coach of the Year.

Hamilton, 63, has two years remaining on his present contract with Florida State.

Hamilton, who previously coached at Oklahoma State and Miami and one season in the NBA, took over a moribund program at Florida State that had won only 46 games in the four previous years.

The Seminoles had losing seasons in two of his first three years at Florida State but have won 20 or more games in six of the last seven seasons and 19 in the other year.

Florida State loses four starters from this year's club that finished 25-10 after being eliminated Sunday night in the NCAA Tournament by Cincinnati.

Several key players -- leading scorer Michael Snaer, Okaro White, Ian Miller and Terrance Shannon -- return next season.

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