Our GladiatHers® Spotlight this week is breaking barriers for women in Football. For the first time in the 130-year history of the University of Illinois Football Program, Ashton Washington was hired as the first full-time female staff member. In pursuit of her passion Washington has made history and forged a path for other GladiatHers seeking a future career in sports.
Washington made her way to the Fighting Illini after serving as the Business and Game Day Operations Specialist for the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks last season. A Houston, Texas native Washington started her career in football as the Director of Operations/Recruiting for The Old Coach, a media outlet dedication to statewide coverage of Texas High School Football. Washington was the head of social media for the company, helping to build a strong reputation with parents, coaches, and student-athletes across the state of Texas.
In her current role Washington is able to bring high energy and a different perspective to the University of Illinois campus and athletics department. As Director of High School Relations, she is tasked with engaging with football recruits and working towards bringing the best student-athletes to the University of Illinois campus. Washington is the direct contact for high school coaches, alumni and manages all other recruiting aspects for the football program.
Graduating from Huston-Tillotson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication in 2019. Washington is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Some words of advice Washington shared that have helped her on her journey are “Patience is when you’re supposed to be mad but you choose to understand.” Starting her role with the University of Illinois Football just this May, we are excited to see all the great things Ashton will continue to do!
To connect with Coach A, you can find her on Twitter @Ash3Washington.