Nov. 13, 2014
IRVING, Texas – Georgia Tech and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor Joe Hamilton with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute on Nov. 15 in Atlanta during the game between Georgia Tech and Clemson. Coverage of the game will start at noon ET on ESPN.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected in this class, along with some of the greatest players in college football history,” Hamilton said in a Georgia Tech release after the announcement. “I want to thank God. 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.”
The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program is a hallowed tradition that began with the inaugural class in 1951, and to this day the salutes remain the first of numerous activities in each inductee’s Hall of Fame experience. During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his alma mater to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many inductees cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and hear the crowd roar their name.
Georgia Tech’s all-time leading passer, Hamilton amassed a Hall of Fame career in Atlanta from 1996-99 that culminated with winning the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award his senior season.
“Joe Hamilton’s passion and leadership made him a star at Georgia Tech,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “One of the greatest passers of his era, he rewrote the record books during his time in Atlanta. We are thrilled to honor him in front of the Yellow Jacket faithful at Bobby Dodd Stadium.”
A 1999 Consensus First-Team All-American, Hamilton was a four-year starter, and he ended his career as the ACC’s leader in total offense (10,640 yards) and pass efficiency (148.2), currently ranking second in both categories. The ACC Player of the Year his senior season, he twice earned first-team all-conference honors, and he was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1999. A finalist for the Maxwell and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm awards, Hamilton holds seven Georgia Tech records, including passing yards (8,882), touchdown passes (65) and completion percentage (62.0). He led the Yellow Jackets to a 30-17 record and three bowl games, including wins in the 1997 Carquest Bowl and 1999 Gator Bowl. Hamilton helped Georgia Tech to a 10-2 record in 1998, claiming a No. 9 national ranking and a share of the ACC title.
Selected in the seventh round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Hamilton spent two seasons with the Buccaneers and one with the Indianapolis Colts. Hamilton also played for the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League for three seasons, posting a 32-15 record as the starting quarterback.
Inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2009, the Alvin, S.C., native was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team in 2002, and he was among the inaugural class of ACC Football Legends in 2005. Hamilton founded the Alvin Recreational Youth Camp, volunteering with various other football and basketball camps and serving as a guest speaker at other events. He currently helps as a recruiting assistant at Georgia Tech.
Hamilton becomes the 13th Yellow Jacket to be inducted, joining Maxie Baughan (1957-59), Ray Beck (1948-51), Bobby Davis (1944-47), Bill Fincher (1916-20), Buck Flowers (1916-20), Joe Guyon (1917-18), George Morris (1950-52), Larry Morris (1951-54), Peter Pund (1926-28), Randy Rhino (1972-74), Everett Strupper (1915-17) and Pat Swilling (1982-85). Three coaches with stops in Atlanta are in the hall: Bill Alexander (1920-44), Bobby Dodd (1945-66) and John Heisman (1904-19).
Including the 2014 class, only 948 players and 207 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.06 million people who have played or coached the game over the past 145 years. In other words, only two ten-thousandths of one percent (.0002) of those who have set foot on the gridiron have earned the distinction. Click here for a complete list of players and coaches in the Hall.
The 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City’s historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, Dec. 9. This year’s College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Dre Bly (DB, North Carolina), Tony Boselli (OT, Southern California), Dave Butz (DT, Purdue), Shane Conlan (LB, Penn State), Joe Hamilton (QB, Georgia Tech), John Huard (LB, Maine), Darrin Nelson (HB, Stanford), Willie Roaf (OL, Louisiana Tech), John Sciarra (QB, UCLA), Sterling Sharpe (WR, South Carolina), Leonard Smith (CB, McNeese State), the late Derrick Thomas (LB, Alabama), LaDainian Tomlinson (TB, TCU), Wesley Walls (TE, Mississippi), and coaches Mike Bellotti (Chico State [Calif.], Oregon) and Jerry Moore (North Texas, Texas Tech and Appalachian State). For more information, please contact Will Rudd at email@example.com or by calling 972.556.1000.