Lynell Hamilton and Doug Deakin are two past Aztec warriors who now serve as graduate assistants for the SDSU coaching staff.
Both are a big part of the history of SDSU football, and are continuing to contribute to the success of the program even after their playing days are complete.
Lynell Hamilton: The Player
Despite battling multiple injuries, Lynell Hamilton still solidified himself as one of the top running backs to ever play for San Diego State.
As a true freshman in 2003, Hamilton took the Mountain West Conference by storm, rushing for 1,087 yards and four touchdowns in just 10 games. Although he was sidelined for the final two games with an ankle injury, he still garnered multiple honors for his performance on the field.
Hamilton was named a first-team freshman All-American by Rivals.com and The Sporting News. He was also picked as the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year, and was named first-team all-conference.
Unfortunately, the ankle injury was the first of many for Hamilton during his time at SDSU, and he spent the rest of his career on and off the injury report.
Hamilton finished his career with 2,052 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. His career rushing total currently ranks him at No. 11 on SDSU’s all-time rushing list.
Lynell Hamilton: The Coach
Following his collegiate career, Hamilton signed with the New Orleans Saints. His best season came in 2009, when he rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns and became a Super Bowl Champion when the Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.
After moving on from the NFL, Hamilton decided he wanted to stay involved with football.
He received an opportunity to work as a graduate assistant for his alma mater, and has been helping with the team since the summer of 2012.
After working in the weight room in the summer, Hamilton now helps primarily with special teams. He is also a mentor to the young running backs, giving them advice on what it takes to be a top-tier running back at the collegiate level.
Doug Deakin: The Player
When Doug Deakin came to San Diego State in 2006 as a student, he wanted nothing more than to be a part of the football team. Unfortunately, there were no open roster spots, and Deakin was unable to join the team as a walk-on.
But Deakin didn’t give up there.
After getting in touch with the football offices, he found a way to join the program as a volunteer member of the video staff and helped filmed practices.
In the spring of 2007, Deakin was given the chance to walk-on to the team, and took full advantage of the opportunity.
After a few seasons of playing on the scout team, Deakin worked his way onto the field in the 2009 and 2010 seasons on special teams.
His hard work and positive attitude inspired teammates, and he was voted as a team captain for the 2010 season. Following the season, he was also voted as the most inspirational player.
Deakin capped off his collegiate career playing in the Poinsettia Bowl, helping the Aztecs win their first bowl game since 1969.
Doug Deakin: The Coach
After volunteering during the 2011 season, Deakin was given the opportunity to become a graduate assistant in 2012.
He works primarily with special teams, and also helps out with everyday duties around the football offices.
As expected, Deakin has carried over his incredible work ethic from his playing days and been a huge asset to the coaching staff and the SDSU football program.