THE FLATS – Former Georgia Tech football standout Joe Hamilton and head basketball coach John “Whack” Hyder joined this year’s five inductees from the athletics industry into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame in 2018, the Hall announced on Friday.
Hamilton played quarterback for the Yellow Jackets from 1996-99 and set multiple Atlantic Coast Conference career records, including total offense (10,640 yards), touchdown passes (65) and total touchdowns (83). Most notably as a senior, Hamilton was named a consensus first-team all-American, won the Davey O’Brien Award and was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. During his four-year career, the signal-caller also earned MVP honors for the 1997 Carquest Bowl and both the 1999 and 2000 Gator Bowl.
Hamilton was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 2000 National Football League Draft. The South Carolina native was selected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
Hyder began his career in Atlanta as a Yellow Jacket student-athlete, lettering in baseball, basketball, track and cross country during his time on The Flats (1933-37). After a brief departure in which he spent three years in the New York Yankees’ minor league farm system, he returned to Georgia Tech to be its head basketball coach from 1951 to 1973. The second-winningest coach in Tech basketball history, Hyder amassed 292 wins and led the Jackets to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1960, making the Elite Eight. Hyder also coached the team to the NIT championship game in 1971 – the second-straight appearance in the tournament.
Hyder was inducted twice into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, both as a player in 1960 and a coach in 1983, and had his banner raised during the 2003-04 season.
Hamilton and Hyder are two of five members of the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018, joining Andruw Jones (former outfielder for the Atlanta Braves), Leo Mazzone (longtime pitching coach for the Braves) and Gerald Riggs (former running back for the Atlanta Falcons). They will be officially inducted during the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame’s 14th-annual awards and induction ceremony on Friday, Feb. 16, at the Emory Conference Center Hotel.