By Ferron Lucero
Editor’s note: This a periodic feature catching up with former area athletes.
Injuries and a desire to be closer with family led former Eastern New Mexico University standout Conrad Hamilton to retire from the NFL two years ago.
A two-time NCAA Division II All-American defensive back at Eastern, Hamilton played five seasons in the NFL, four with the New York Giants and one with the Atlanta Falcons.
“Basically it was time to stop playing. The schedule was too back and forth,” said Hamilton, who lives with his wife and four children in Rio Rancho. “We had some young kids and we didn’t want any of them to be apart from one another. The Lord blessed me to play that long and it was time to embark on something else.”
An Alamogordo native, Hamilton is taking classes through the Internet at ENMU and is scheduled to graduate this summer with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a minor in history.
He continues to stay involved with sports by helping his brother, who is a sports agent, by recruiting and working out players. He intends to stay involved with football through coaching.
In 1995, Hamilton led the Greyhounds with 32 unassisted tackles and finished the season with 81 total tackles. He was also a dangerous kick returner, averaging 23.9 yards per return.
Greyhound football coach Bud Elliott said Hamilton was a “great hitter [and] just really a premier player as far as Division II football is concerned.”
Hamilton was drafted in 1996 by the New York Giants, who were coached by Dan Reeves. He smoothly made the transition from college safety to cornerback in the NFL.
His most notable season was in 1998 under Giants head coach Jim Fassel when he started 15 of the 16 regular season games.
His last season was spent with the Atlanta Falcons in 2001 with Reeves.