Joe Hamilton has completed the circle.
The Georgia Tech great, who quarterbacked the Yellow Jackets to a share of the 1998 ACC title and was a Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1999, has been hired to assist in Tech’s recruiting efforts. Coach Paul Johnson made the news public on his Twitter account Tuesday, five years to the day after he had to accept Hamilton’s resignation from a similar position following an on-campus DUI arrest.
“Welcome Joe Hamilton back to the flats to assist in recruiting,” Johnson wrote via his account. “Joe had a great career here and I’m excited he is back.”
Hamilton will be an assistant in Tech’s revamped recruiting efforts. That includes the hire of Matt Griffin as player personnel director to replace Liam Klein, who left Tech in April to help start Kennesaw State’s team. Griffin, formerly the head coach at Tennessee-Martin and Murray State, most recently was offensive quality control coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Recruiting rules changes passed in January widened the scope of athletic-department personnel who can contact prospects, although a number of the changes were suspended last week for further study.
“I think he’ll be great going back over there, and I’m delighted that he’s getting that opportunity,” said Bill Curry, the Tech Hall of Famer and former Jackets coach who hired Hamilton at Georgia State in 2010.
Hamilton’s 43-game career at Tech placed him in the Jackets’ firmament of stars. A dynamic playmaker as a passer and a runner, Hamilton ended his career as the ACC’s all-time leader in total offense and touchdown passes. After a run at a pro career, Hamilton earned his Tech degree in 2007 and was hired by Johnson in April 2008 as a player personnel assistant.
Less than two weeks later, in what he later called “just a bad decision to get behind the wheel,” Hamilton was arrested for DUI, marijuana possession, open container and hit-and-run. He resigned May 7. In the following months, Hamilton spoke to student groups about the DUI, in addition to private coaching.
In 2010, he pleaded guilty to DUI, with the hit-and-run charge merged into the conviction, and open container. The marijuana charge was dropped. The same year, Curry brought him on staff as a recruiting intern with the Panthers’ start-up program.
“I want to work my way from the bottom,” Hamilton told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2010.
The role led to a job coaching running backs in 2011 and 2012. Curry said that in 2011, the team’s running backs did not fumble the ball away the entire season.
He was not retained after a regime change in December and had been spotted on Tech’s campus since, including at Tech’s spring game in April. Curry said he was surprised that Hamilton hadn’t been hired for a coaching job, “but now I’m glad because he’s coming back to our alma mater.”