LIBERTY TWP. — Lakota East baseball coach Ray Hamilton was formally inducted into the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame this past weekend.
Hamilton is a 1983 graduate of Lakota High School and was a 3-year varsity starter in football and 2-year starter in baseball. He accepted a football scholarship to Appalachian State University and played 1 year there. He then traveled west to Independence Community College for a semester before ending up at Missouri Southern State College in Joplin, Missouri for the final 2 years of eligibility. He graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education.
Hamilton began his teaching and coaching career at Ross High School in 1989. Ray coached football, basketball and baseball at Ross. He became head baseball coach in 1989 and during that 11-year span compiled a 197-75 record. The Rams won 5 league championships 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1998.
Hamilton was named FAVC Coach of the year in 91, 95, 96 and 1998. He was Cincinnati Enquirer Coach of the Year in 1998.
In 2000, Hamilton was named head baseball coach at Lakota East.
During the past 20 years at Lakota East, he has a record of 332-189. East has won the Greater Miami Conference 3 times — 2005, 2010 and 2011. His 332 wins are the most in District history. Lakota East has won 3 district final games and has made the regional tournament in 2008, 2011 and 2013. The Thunderhawks won the State Championship in 2011. He has been selected as Greater Miami Conference Coach of the Year 4 times 2005, 2010, 2011 and 2019. He was named Cincinnati Enquirer Coach of the year in 2011. Hamilton coached in the Mizuno All-Star series in 2011 and the Augusta Sports Wear Series in 2019. Hamilton coached Junior Team Ohio in the Lonestar classic in 2006 and 2007.
Hamilton knows that success is no accident and credits outstanding players, as 170 have gone on to continue to play at the next level. Also, all the great assistant coaches, parents and athletic staff at both Ross and Lakota East that have made is honor possible.
Ray and wife Dee are the proud parents of Celeste (26) and her husband Chris Elam, Garrison (19) and Grayson (19) and the proud grandparents of 1 Grand Daughter Brooklyn (5).
Ray credits his wife for blending Baseball with family and making it work for the past 31 years. Ray and Dee have lived in Lebanon Ohio for the past 21 years.
The Hall of Fame induction was held in conjunction with the OHSBCA Annual Clinic at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio. It was the highlight of the award’s luncheon.
Induction into the Hall is based on an individual’s accomplishments on the field, service to the OHSBCA and/or ambassadorship towards the game of baseball in Ohio.
Inductees are chosen each fall at the October meeting of the OHSBCA Board of Directors. The OHSBCA Hall of Fame is located at Bill Davis Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.