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Florida State has officially announced the hiring of its new assistant basketball coach. Jake Morton will join the team from East Carolina, filling the vacancy created by Steve Smith's departure to Boston College last week. Morton played under Leonard Hamilton at Miami in the early 1990s and will now be part of his coaching staff for the first time. The move was first reported by CBS' Jon Rothstein last weekend.

READ MORE: Former FSU basketball star wins first NBA championship as coach with Boston Celtics

Morton has been at ECU for the past two seasons and has previously spent time at Jacksonville State, Coppin State, Western Kentucky, Miami, James Madison, St. Francis (PA) and Bowie State (Division 2) since beginning his coaching career in 2000. Aside from the three years since returning to Miami from 2008-11, he has never been in a situation where he needed to recruit high-level players.

“I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to work with a Hall of Fame coach like Coach Hamilton,” Morton said, according to an FSU press release. “Having the opportunity to play for him and having him as a role model in my life for the past 36 years has been an absolute advantage for me as I have made my way through the world of college basketball. I am honored to have this opportunity to work with Coach Hamilton and his staff.”

Leonard Hamilton reportedly has one year left on his contract and will be 76 when the season begins. There are serious doubts as to whether his contract will be renewed after the season. This is believed to be a major reason for Coach Smith to take the Boston College job, as he can join a former colleague at Clemson and have a more secure long-term future.

Florida State is coming off a mediocre season (17-16) and although they recently received great news with the return of Jamir Watkins, many of last season's top players have left the team and have been replaced by a lot of inexperience and question marks.

READ MORE: FSU football was named a top-10 program last year that will struggle to maintain its ranking in 2024

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