Published on December 1st, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
Willie Washington Inducted Into Allen University Athletic Hall Of Fame
Pictured from left: Willie Washington, Athletic Director, Benedict College, James “Mike” White, Head Football Coach, Benedict College and Dr. David Swinton, President, Benedict College.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Benedict College Director of Athletics Willie Washington was inducted into the Allen University Athletic Hall of Fame recently.
Washington arrived on the campus of Allen University in 1976 as the head men’s basketball coach and Athletic Director. Under his leadership, the Yellow Jackets expanded their athletic program to include five competitive sports: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s baseball, women’s softball, and men’s soccer.
During the years of 1976-1988, Allen University was a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and competed in District Six of the NAIA and the Southeastern Athletic Conference. Coach Washington served as Chairman of the NAIA District Six from 1986-1988. During his tenure as head basketball coach, the Yellow Jackets won the Southeastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship in 1980-1981. Allen University joined the Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (EIAC) when it was re-activated in 1983. Coach Washington and the Yellow Jackets continued to dominate this conference by winning the EIAC Championship in 1987-1988. During this time, Coach Washington was also nominated several times as Coach of the Year for the Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
During his coaching years at Allen, the Yellow Jackets never had a losing season. In 1999, Coach Washington was selected by the National Association of Collegiate Directors to receive the honor of being named the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Southeast Region Athletic Director of the Year.
Washington is a graduate of Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance and received a Master’s Degree from Jackson State. In college, Washington was co-captain of the basketball team during his junior and senior years. After college he played in the European Professional Basketball League with the Carlos Basketball Club in Brussels, Belgium. He is married to the former Genoise Gaylor and they are the proud parents of four children: Willie, a 2000 Benedict Alumnus and 2003 Juris Doctorate graduate from Michigan State; Gerard, who was one of the Tiger’s greatest defensive backs in football, also a 2006 Benedict graduate, played in the European NFL Football League, and now a Recreation Leader for Richland County Recreation Department; Chad, also a 2009 Benedict graduate who played football and track and field, completed graduate school at Grambling University in the area of sports administration and is the Director of Athletics at Allen University; and Kimberly, the youngest, is a senior at the University of South Carolina.
Washington is already a member of the Benedict College Athletic Hall of Fame, enshrined in 2004 as a coach, and was inducted into the EIAC Hall of Fame in 1998.