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State’s winningest high school football coach announces retirement


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – The winningest high school football coach in Kansas history is stepping off the sidelines.

Silver Lake’s CJ Hamilton announced Monday that he will retire from both teaching and coaching at the end of this school year. The decision ends a 47-year career.

Hamilton cited his recovery from a leg injury suffered in a farming accident two years ago, saying it hampered his ability to fully engage in the program last season.

“Other people have worse things than I’ve got,” Hamilton told 13 NEWS in September 2021. “I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I’ve just missed it.”

The football stadium at Silver Lake is named in his honor.

“Coach Hamilton has impacted the lives of countless students and athletes over his tenure at Silver Lake,” USD 372 superintendent Brad Womack said. “He embodies everything it means to be a Silver Lake Eagle, and the commitment he has made to our district and our community will be felt for generations to come. To say we are thankful for the time, effort and love Coach Hamilton has given to our students and our community, doesn’t even begin to express the gratitude we have for him.”

Hamilton started his coaching career in 1973. He spent the 1977-78 seasons at Washburn University, and returned to SIlver Lake in 1979.

Hamilton finishes his career at Silver Lake with a 447-98 record. He led the Silver Lake football program 18 state title games, winning eight of them. The team also made the post season 40 of his 47 years, taking 39 Mid-East League titles.

Hamilton also served as the baseball coach, first-ever softball coach in 1989, and the assistant coach to many different sports.

In addition to the many accomplishments on the field, Coach Hamilton also received the Coach Bill Snyder Family/Sunflower Chapter of the National Football Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award this past summer.

Womak says, once Hamilton completely heals from his injuries, the district expects to see him finding ways to continue supporting the students and community.

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