Donte Hamilton: Continuing the legacy of #44

Head coach Fisk and Hamilton reflect on what #44 means to the program


Jacob Thompson

Donte Hamilton in high school football at KAMIAK HS

Leah Shepherd, Staff Reporter

Being #44 is a tradition given to a defensive player who represents the football team well and carries the core values of the team. 

Graduate student Donte Hamilton was chosen as #44 for many reasons, mainly for his ability to lead a team through any kind of game. His love for football and being a leader started at a young age for him. 

“I started playing [football] when I was 10 years old but wanted to play for a long time,” Hamilton said. 

He said his mom wouldn’t let him play until he was 10, due to safety, so he started with soccer. Hamilton then made the shift to football when he was allowed. 

His passion for football started in 2009 when his dad passed away because he took Hamilton to University of Washington football games as a kid.

Donte Hamilton and his Papa

“He is still one of my inspirations today,” Hamilton said. “I’ve always wanted to be a person he could be proud of and kind of do it for him and my family.”

Head coach Chris Fisk explained his view on Hamilton and why he is #44. Fisk stated how he is a “relentless” player along with any of the others players who have worn #44. 

“When I say these things I don’t say them lightly,” Fisk said. “He’s a leader.”

Fisk gave an example of how Hamilton’s leadership shows. Hamilton, on multiple occasions found Coach Fisk at half time, and said, “You don’t have to say anything to the team, I already got it.” 

“As a head coach that is mind blowing to me,” Fisk said. “That type of leadership you don’t see all the time.”

Fisk said Hamilton exceeds all expectations given to him like the football team’s core values of character, strength and honor.  

“[Hamilton has] the highest character you can find, he’s a strong willed person,” Fisk said. “The way that he honors the #44 and the alumni and everybody that’s come through and built this program, [it’s] how you know you got the right guy … we are so lucky to have him.”

Hamilton currently leads the team in solo tackles (40), assisted tackles (21), tackles for loss (12) and interceptions (6). He’s tied for the team lead in sacks (5.5). He’s been named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Defensive Player of the Week three times this season for his performances at Eastern New Mexico in the season opener, against Angelo State and against Midwestern State, where he recorded three interceptions in the fourth quarter.

Hamilton said being #44 was something he had in the back of his mind when he first visited CWU. 

‘It’s a great honor because it means my teammates [and coaches] look at me very highly,” Hamilton said. “I just (have) to uphold the standard of the people that have been here before me and have wore #44”.

To Hamilton, being #44 means making sure you are someone that people can look to everyday whether that’s games, practice or class.  

“Being someone on the defense that everyone can rely on, and someone that people look up to, and hopefully aspire to be like,” Hamilton said.  

For this year, Hamiliton said he prides himself in coming back during these uncertain times, not only for him but for his team. 

“We’ve created a culture where guys are really happy and excited to be around each other,” Hamilton said.