Washington will serve as special assistant to AD

Updated: April 5, 2007, 1:45 PM ET
Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- Hall of Famer Joe Washington, who ranks No. 2 on the Oklahoma's list of career rushers, is returning to Norman as a special assistant to Athletic Director Joe Castiglione, the university announced Thursday.

Washington also will become executive director of the Varsity O Association, Castiglione said.

"We are once again placing the ball in the hands of Joe Washington," Castiglione said in a statement. "Like many times before, we believe he will make some very special things happen."

Washington's newly created position is part of a restructuring effort to emphasize outreach to former Sooners student-athletes.

Washington was an AP All-America selection in 1974 and was voted to the second team in 1975. He was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame last year.

"I enjoyed a lot of success in my first go-around there," Washington said. "There is a song I heard lately that says the second time around can be even better, and I believe that.

"This time, instead of having the OU on my helmet, I'll have it on my business card. I am very excited and very humbled to be coming back."

Washington has worked for companies bearing his name since 1986 when he opened Washington Consultants and Advertising, now known as Washington Financial Consultants.

He and NBA legend Julius Erving broke the color barrier of NASCAR's Busch Grand National Series in 1997, starting Washington Erving Motor Sports.

In his private life, Washington has been involved in community service as chairman of the Ann Arundel County Association for Retarded Citizens, as well as involved with the Maryland Special Olympics.

Washington is a spokesman for the Oklahoma Society to Prevent Blindness and has been on the advisory board for Wednesday's Child, an organization dedicated to orphaned children in Oklahoma City.

Washington will relocate to Norman from Lutherville, Md., and will start his new job in May.

He played on OU national championship teams in 1974 and 1975. Washington trails only Billy Sims on the Sooners' all-time rushing list, with 4,071 yards. He finished third in balloting for the Heisman Trophy in 1974 and fifth in 1975.

The "O" Club, previously was known as the Letterman's Club, provides scholarships to athletes who have completed their NCAA eligibility but are still working toward degrees.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press