With Joe Hamilton's departure, Florida Football just can't maintain positive momentum

Florida's Director of Scouting & Recruiting Relations/NFL Liaison is heading to Texas A&M

Nov 18, 2023; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Florida Gators helmet against the
Nov 18, 2023; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Florida Gators helmet against the / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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It has been an offseason of ups and downs for Florida Football. The Gators have seen several departures, but Billy Napier has tried his best with some of his hires to mitigate the damage and set Florida up for success in 2024.

But just as Napier appeared to address a key concern Gator fans had last week, Florida took another hit yesterday as it was reported a key off-field member of Napier's staff would be leaving.

Florida Football: Hamilton

It was first reported by Brandon Howard of Rivals that Joe Hamilton, Florida's Director of Scouting & Recruiting Relations/NFL Liaison, would be leaving Gainesville to join Texas A&M.

Hamilton is a Texas native, and it is believed that part of the reason for his departure is the ability to return home, though one would assume there are other factors at play. Whatever the reason is, while his role may be invisible to most fans, many current Gators, including DJ Lagway, credit Hamilton as being a big reason why they opted to come to Florida in the first place.

Losing Hamilton is yet another blow to Napier's staff, as he has been plugging holes all offseason. And even when it seems like he has all the holes plugged, new holes start appearing.

One day after national signing day, Jay Bateman left for Texas A&M, leaving Myles Graham and his father Earnest perplexed. Napier hired Craig Fitzgerald to take over strength and conditioning, only for him to bail a month later. After stating at his press conference earlier in the month that all his assistants had their contracts renewed, offensive line coach Darnell Stapleton left for the NFL.

Napier has countered these departures by bringing in veteran Ron Roberts as linebackers coach, promoting Tyler Miles to strength coach in a move endorsed by the players, and promoting Russ Callaway to co-offensive coordinator, all moves that, in a vacuum, are solid enough hires.

But just as we started to feel the good vibes for Callaway and came off a weekend where sports across the board for Florida were killing it, away goes Hamilton.

Coupled with the subsequent hiring of former Arkansas offensive coordinator Dan Enos into an off-field role, a move that drew pandering from rival fanbases even though it's an off-field role, Napier has been unable to string together multiple weeks of positive headlines this offseason.

The fate of the 2024 season for the Florida Gators wasn't going to be decided by Hamilton, but it's another blow to Napier's already wounded battleship that can't afford to take too many more hits before it sinks for good.

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