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October 16, 2012
by Lindsey Bradbury
The CSU Sports Hall of Fame honors former Ram and Aggie athletes, coaches and administrators for their achievements and contributions to the University. The banquet to commemorate these outstanding athletes will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom.
Football runs in the Washington family, but Damon Washington was determined to make his own name in the sport. Washington landed at CSU because it was “big enough and cool enough, but far enough away from California and my brother’s shadow.”
Washington was signed in 1995 by head coach Sonny Lubick. He says he was excited about the move from Chula Vista, Calif., to Colorado. “I liked the town of Fort Collins, and the first time seeing real mountains was surreal,” Washington said.
Football came naturally to Washington, who played extensively during each of his four years with the Rams. Washington rushed for 100 or more yards in 14 games and is second all-time in career rushing yards. Washington received numerous accolades during his time as a Ram, including being named the MVP of the 1995 Holiday Bowl as a freshman.
After graduating, Washington played as a running back for the New York Giants. He was a part of the team that competed in Super Bowl XXXV.
Washington found a whole new level of focus in the NFL. “I realized there is no such thing as permanence in the National Football League,” he said. “I had to be 100 percent committed to doing my job, and I didn’t want to blow it because there was always someone waiting to take over.”
When Washington’s NFL career ended after three years, he found his true calling.
After playing in the NFL, Washington took up a craft he learned while on a trip with the Giants – creating hand-made jewelry. He had found his calling: designing and creating fine jewelry.
Washington has been working with NFL players to design fine jewelry ever since. “Jewelry is my love,” Washington says.
Washington lives in Arizona undertaking freelance jobs designing and producing fine jewelry. He still keeps in touch with his previous teammates, including Clark Haggans, Washington’s former Ram teammate and current Arizona Cardinal. Washington is the godfather to Haggans’s two children.
“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame - more than anything - is a shout out to the success of my team,” Washington said.
Washington credits his team and the immense effort they gave to his being inducted into the CSU Sports Hall of Fame. “It feels cool to be inducted,” Washington says. “This honor is a testament to the teams I played on – it wouldn’t be possible without them.”
Washington says he looks forward to joining his fellow teammate, Kevin McDougal, at the 2012 CSU Sports Hall of Fame induction on Friday, Oct. 26.
The banquet will be held in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom, Friday, October 26, from 5-8 p.m.
Contact: Ryan Moulden
Phone: (970) 491-4601