Jessie Armstead is the co-owner of Hamilton Honda, in Hamilton, NJ, and Englewood Cliffs Cadillac, in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. He is best known as a former linebacker who played 11 seasons in the NFL, most notably with the New York Giants, earning five Pro Bowl selections. He is also a member of the New York Giants Ring of Honor.
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Armstead attended David W. Carter High School, where he was part of a highly talented team that featured other future NFL players.
Recruited by Hall of Fame Coach Jimmy Johnson, Armstead chose to attend the University of Miami; however, Johnson soon left his coaching position to take over as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. After Dennis Erickson was named as the replacement head coach, Armstead chose to remain at the University of Miami to honor his draft commitment. He went on to become a standout for Miami’s national championship teams in 1989 and 1991.
Later, Armstead was drafted in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. Although his pro prospects had dropped because of an ACL tear during his sophomore year playing for Miami, he persevered and played nine seasons with the Giants organization. Between 1997 and 2001, he was selected to the Pro Bowl five times.
Armstead spent the final two seasons of his NFL career with the Washington Redskins. During his 11-year career, Armstead amassed 752 tackles with 40 sacks and 12 interceptions for 175 yards.
On June 13, 2007, Armstead signed a one-day player contract with the New York Giants to officially retire as a Giant. He was later hired by the Giants for the 2008 season as a “special assistant/consultant.” His responsibilities included special projects, defensive assignments, player development and free agent recruiting.
In 2009, Armstead co-founded Hamilton Honda with automotive veteran Mike Saporito. The dealership skyrocketed into the top 10 Honda retailers in the nation within one year of opening the doors and has received many honors, including the Hamilton Township New Business Award, Hamilton Community Enrichment Award and “Dealer Of The Year” at the 15th Annual Urban Wheel Awards in Detroit. Hamilton Honda is also a three-time recipient of the Council of Excellence Award (2010, 2011 and 2012) and a two-time recipient of the President’s Award (2010 and 2012), American Honda Motor Co.’s most prestigious recognition. In less than three years, the dealership had sold over an astonishing 10,000 new Honda vehicles.
With the immediate success established at Hamilton Honda, Armstead partnered with Saporito and another former New York Giant, Antonio Pierce, to open Englewood Cliffs Cadillac, New Jersey’s newest Cadillac dealership, in 2012. The dealership’s 20,000 square-foot state-of-the-art service area is equipped to handle a wide range of custom Cadillac vehicles for clientele throughout the greater New York City area.
Armstead also gives back to the community he is proud to serve. He is an active supporter of the Children’s Miracle Network, Jimmy’s Fund, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, YWCA, SKOR and Ryan’s Quest. Additionally, YMCA honored Armstead with its prestigious 2010 Community Enrichment Award.