Washington will serve as special assistant to AD

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

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.