Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente announced on Monday that former Hokie, Justin Hamilton, had been promoted to safeties coach for the 2019 season. Hamilton, a former running back, wide receiver and defensive back during his time in Blacksburg from 2002-05. He originally joined the staff last April as the director of player development for the defense.
Hamilton replaces Tyrone Nix, who left after one season to return to the SEC and took a similar position at Ole Miss where his brother is running backs coach. Nix was hired last April after former safeties coach, Galen Scott, departed due to an extramarital affair had came to light. Nix was never a fit in Blacksburg on the recruiting trail or this coaching staff.
Hamilton began his coaching career in 2011 at UVa-Wise. He spent three years there serving as a defensive coordinator and helping on the team strength and conditioning staff. He took a job at VMI in 2014, where he spent four years where he coached inside linebackers and special teams.
During his time as an assistant, he spent several years building and developing relationships with high school coaches all across Virginia.
This is, without a doubt, an upgrade for the Hokies. Hamilton brings a passion to the coaching staff and a knowledge of the region as well as experience playing in Bud Foster’s defense. Nix didn’t appear to have much of an interest in being in Blacksburg in his short time.
Originally recruited as a running back, Hamilton moved to wide receiver early in his career. Coaches liked his combination of size, athleticism and selfless attitude and moved him to the defensive side of the ball where he seemed to find a home. As a senior safety in 2005, Hamilton recorded 35 tackles and three interceptions. Robinson showed enough on his one season playing safety that he was a seventh-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2006.
This is a great move by Fuente. Hamilton is viewed as an up-and-coming young coach and he’s also a Hokie. He has the respect of numerous high school coaches throughout the region and numerous players—past and present—applauded the move on social media. He should bring some young energy to the defensive coaching staff both on the practice field and the recruiting trail.
Congrats to Coach Hamilton.