State’s highest-earning high school football coach announces retirement


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

CJ Hamilton of Silver Lake announced Monday that he will retire from teaching and coaching at the end of this school year. This decision puts an end to a career of 47 years.

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

“Other people have worse things than me,” Hamilton told 13 NEWS in September 2021. “I don’t feel sorry for myself. I just missed it.

Silver Lake Football Stadium is named after him.

“Coach Hamilton has impacted the lives of countless students and athletes during his tenure at Silver Lake,” said 372 USD Superintendent Brad Womack. “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 say that we are grateful for the time, effort and love that Coach Hamilton gave to our students and our community does not even begin to express the gratitude we have for him.

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

Hamilton ends 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 40 of its 47 post-season, winning 39 Middle East League titles.

Hamilton was also a baseball coach, the very first softball coach in 1989, and an assistant coach in many different sports.

In addition to his many accomplishments on the pitch, last summer Coach Hamilton also received the Coach Bill Snyder Family/Sunflower Chapter award from the National Football Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

Womak says once Hamilton fully recovers from his injuries, the district expects to see him find ways to continue supporting students and the community.

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