Mr. Willie Washington
Coach, Basketball 1988-1999
As former basketball coach and now athletic director, Willie Washington has kept Benedict College athletes at the top of their game. He arrived on campus in 1988 after having spent the previous 12 years as coach in similar positions across the street at Allen University. Under his leadership the Tigers were the scourge of the Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, winning six Commissioner’s Cups, the hallmark of excellence for the school with the best athletic programs. Benedict won six of the seven awards presented during its stay in the EIAC.
“Wash,” as he is known to his friends, is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and dedicated to success. Benedict never had a losing season during his tenure as basketball coach. He led the Tigers to nine straight EIAC championships and was named Coach of the Year eight times. In 1991-92, BC had a breakthrough season and finished with an unblemished 12-0 conference record and a 20-8 mark overall. His fourth season brought even more success as the team went 11-1 in the EIAC and a 22-6 record overall which included winning the regular season championship and conference tournament. He reached the 200-win plateau in 1997-98 and guided the Tigers to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national tournament four times during the 1990s.
After 11 years of wearing two hats — that of men’s basketball coach and athletic director — Washington became Benedict’s full-time AD in 1998-99. Through the years he has expanded the program from eight to 18 sports, including the return of football and with a budget in excess of $1 million.
Benedict is currently in its third year as an affiliate of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAC). During the 2003-2004 year, the athletic program had three teams to advance to the NCAA regional tournaments during the spring season of competition –more than any other SIAC member institution.
Willie Washington starred in basketball at Tougaloo College in Mississippi and played as a pro in the European League with the Carlos Basketball Club in Brussels, Belgium. He and his wife, the former Genoise Gaylor, are parents of four children.