May 22, 2014
THE FLATS – Joe Hamilton, one of the all-time greats in Georgia Tech football history, will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame later this year.
The announcement came Thursday in Irving, Texas, by the National Football Foundation. Hamilton, Georgia Tech’s quarterback from 1996 to 1999 and the runner-up in the 1999 Heisman Trophy race, will join 13 other former All-Americans from all levels of college football, and two legendary head coaches in the class of 2014.
The official induction ceremony takes place Dec. 9 at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected in this class, along with some of the greatest players in college football history,” Hamilton said.
“I want to thank God,” Hamilton continued. “I am grateful that I was surrounded by really talented teammates and great coaches. I also want to thank all of the Georgia Tech family.”
Hamilton is the 13th player in Georgia Tech history and the 18th person overall associated with Yellow Jacket football to be elected into the Hall of Fame.
“Joe Hamilton’s selection to the College Football Hall of Fame is a proud moment for everyone associated with Georgia Tech,” athletic director Mike Bobinski said. “Joe’s leadership, competitiveness and big-moment play-making ability made him a favorite among Yellow Jacket fans, and his passion and obvious love for the game set him apart as one of the all-time greats in college football.”
Hamilton was one of 75 former players on the ballot.
Hamilton, who currently works as a recruiting assistant in the Georgia Tech football office, enjoyed a spectacular career as a four-year starter at quarterback for the Yellow Jackets from 1996-99. Tech’s all-time leader in total offense (10,640 yards), Hamilton won the prestigious Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback. He finished second to Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne in the voting for the ’99 Heisman Trophy.
Playing under then-head coach George O’Leary, Hamilton guided Tech to consecutive bowl victories and back-to-back wins over in-state rival Georgia. He set ACC career records for total offense, touchdown passes and total touchdowns along the way.
Hamilton is joined in the class of 2014 by North Carolina’s Dre’ Bly, who played at North Carolina from 1996 to 1998, giving the Atlantic Coast Conference two players in this year’s class.
“Joe Hamilton and Dre’ Bly join a long list of ACC players and coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame, and we are extremely proud of these members,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. “Joe Hamilton was one of the great quarterbacks in this league, and he was a joy to watch play. Dre’ Bly was one of the elite defensive backs in the ACC and college football who led the nation in interceptions as a freshman. Both players are woven into the history and tradition of ACC Football, and we are pleased that they are being recognized by the National Football Foundation.”
CLASS OF 2014
DRE BLY – DB, North Carolina (1996-98)
TONY BOSELLI – OT, Southern California (1991-94)
DAVE BUTZ – DT, Purdue (1970-72)
SHANE CONLAN – LB, Penn State (1983-86)
JOE HAMILTON – QB, Georgia Tech (1996-99)
JOHN HUARD – LB, Maine (1964-66)
DARRIN NELSON – HB, Stanford (1977-78, 1980-81)
WILLIE ROAF – OL, Louisiana Tech (1990-92)
JOHN SCIARRA – QB, UCLA (1972-75)
STERLING SHARPE – WR, South Carolina (1983, 1985-87)
LEONARD SMITH – CB, McNeese State (1979-82)
DERRICK THOMAS (deceased) – LB, Alabama (1985-88)
LaDAINIAN TOMLINSON – TB, Texas Christian (1997-00)
WESLEY WALLS – TE, Mississippi (1985-88)
MIKE BELLOTTI – 137-80-2 (63%); Chico State (Calif.) (1984-88) and Oregon (1995-08)
JERRY MOORE – 242-135-2 (64.1%); North Texas (1979-80), Texas Tech (1981-85) and Appalachian State (1989-12)