January 31, 2001
BILOXI, Miss. -- Rudy Washington, the third-year commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, will be one of the honorees at the annual All-American Football Foundation's annual banquet here on February 15. He'll be honored as the AAFF's commissioner of the year.
The February 15 banquet will be held at the Grand Casino Biloxi Hotel. A reception is slated for 6 p.m. with the awards banquet following at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are currently on sale for $100 each. Ticket purchases are tax deductible. For more information, one can call the All-American Football Foundation in Jackson, Miss. at (601) 948-0562.
"I consider it a high honor to have been selected to receive this commissioner of the year award," said Washington. "It's a tribute to everyone in the Southwestern Athletic Conference who're dedicated to uplifting the principles and ideals of amateur athletics, namely creating and expanding opportunities for our young student-athletes."
Washington became only the third individual to hold the title of commissioner of the SWAC when he was named to the post on May 21, 1998. The founder and former executive director of the Black Coaches Association (BCA), Washington, in less than three years, has adeptly guided the SWAC towards several new and exciting accomplishments.
The major accomplishment was relocating the league's headquarters from New Orleans, La., where it had enjoyed a 15-year stay, to the city of Birmingham, Ala., where city officials and supporters have totally embraced the 10-member conference.
Among Washington's other feats in his short time at the helm are the development of the conference's first television network for football and basketball, creation of the first-and-only championship game for football on the NCAA Division I-AA level and formation of a Computer Academy at the league headquarters, where youths and other individuals from the local community can receive hands-on computer training.
Washington, a graduate of California's University of Redlands, is a native of Los Angeles. His successful history as both an administrator and basketball coach spans the high school, collegiate and professional levels. He's been an assistant coach at the University of Southern California and an assistant coach and scout with the Los Angeles Lakers. He also had coaching stints at both Clemson University and the University of Iowa, where he was an assistant, and from 1990 to 1996 he was the head coach at Drake University.
Black Enterprise magazine once named Washington one of the "Thirty Most Valuable Professionals in the Business of Sports." In the 1996 issue of The Sporting News, he was only one of two coaches in all of sports listed among the magazine's prestigious "100 Most Powerful People in Sports."
Washington is active in both athletics and community affairs and he's a former board member of both the NCAA's Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee and the Committee on Basketball Issues. For more than 20 years, he's been a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and he's been a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) for the past seven years. Washington once served as director of Guide Right, a youth mentoring program sponsored by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and he's also a member of the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles.
Washington is married to the former Gail Terry. The couple has four children, Crystal Wilks, Corey Wilks, Raymond Washington and Rudy Washington, Jr.