CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Maybe Illinois football coach Lovie Smith knew it was coming sooner rather than later, or maybe the timing just worked out. Either way, Smith followed thru with his word on Tuesday, hiring a woman to work on his staff, announcing Ashton Washington as his new Director of High School Relations.
“One of these days you’re going to see a female walking down through here too,” Smith said during a February press conference. “To me, if you’re qualified, we’re going to find you. If you’re a great player, we’re going to find you. We’re going to mix a lot of different people together and let them do their job, and they’re going to do it well.”
Washington comes to Champaign from Houston, where she most recently worked with the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks as a business and game day operations specialist.
“Ashton Washington brings a unique skill set to the Smith Center, really something that no one else in the building has at this time,” Smith said in a statement. “She is high energy, extremely organized, and brings a different perspective in how we will engage with recruits when they are on the University of Illinois campus. Ashton is a great fit with our staff and program. I can’t wait for all of us to be together again working toward bringing the best student-athletes we can to our campus.”
Washington replaces Joe Price, who left earlier this year to become the Director of Player Personnel at University of Texas at San Antonio.