James Washington, one of the greatest safeties in UCLA history and a two-time Super Bowl champion, has returned to the athletic department in an exciting new role.
The four-year starter has been hired as Director of Scholarship Development for Intercollegiate Athletics. In April of 2010, he was named Assistant Director of Alumni Giving for the University. Successful in that role, he will now concentrate his efforts on raising funds for athletic scholarships.
“Everything James does, he does with great passion. He played with unbridled enthusiasm and my observations of him on campus this year showed that he works the same way,” said Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. “I am thrilled that he will be focusing his efforts on raising funds for athletic scholarships as well as playing a key role in generating donor support for our football program. We are proud of his accomplishments and very excited to have him home again.”
“Receiving an athletic scholarship from UCLA was a dream come true and one of the most unforgettable moments in my life. In fact, it ranks right up there with winning back-to-back Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys,” said Washington. “As Director of Scholarship Development for UCLA Athletics, I have the unique opportunity to ‘return the favor’ and raise funds to support all 24 sports teams. It is a privilege and an honor. I am grateful to Vice Chancellor Rhea Turteltaub and Mr. Guerrero for this opportunity to foster, enhance and create new relationships for the betterment of UCLA Athletics.”
Washington also has a strong presence within the sports media arena. He serves as an analyst during UCLA football games for Fox Sports Prime Ticket and is the host for the Rick Neuheisel UCLA Football Weekly show.
A four-year starter (1984-87) as a Bruin safety, Washington played in four bowl games – 1985 Fiesta Bowl (co-MVP), 1986 Rose Bowl, 1986 Freedom Bowl, and 1987 Aloha Bowl – all victories. He still ranks third in UCLA history with 15 career interceptions and sixth with 347 tackles.
Upon graduating from UCLA, Washington was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1988 NFL Draft. He later signed a free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys, where he became one of the hardest hitting defensive backs in the league. In Dallas, he was reunited with Troy Aikman, a teammate at UCLA.
A starter for the Cowboys in four of his five seasons, he led the team in interception each year in which he started. He called the defensive signals for Dallas when it had the league’s top-ranked defense (1992 and 1994) and was a standout on the 1993 and 1994 Super Bowl Championship teams.