Former Wildcats continue to make their mark on the professional sports world, and as of Monday, another memorable name made headlines.
The Washington Football Team hired former Northwestern running back Jason Wright to be the franchise’s president on Monday, making him the first Black team president in NFL history and only the fourth former NFL player to hold that title. At 38 years old, he becomes the youngest president in the league.
Before Wright landed one of the highest positions in professional sports, he spent four years as a Wildcat. Wright amassed a total of three yards in two quiet freshman and sophomore seasons as a kick returner and wide receiver. He stepped into a significant role as an upperclassman running back and finished his career with 2,625 yards — making him the seventh all-time leading rusher in school history. At the time of his graduation, he ranked fourth in that category.
Wright also scored 32 rushing touchdowns and added another 577 receiving yards and two scores on 54 receptions, totaling 4,030 all-purpose yards. He ranks eighth in program scoring with 210 career points.
The California native earned All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2002, was the co-MVP of the 2003 Motor City Bowl and was named to the second-team All-Big Ten in 2003.
Following his four-year stint in Evanston, Wright entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2004 and spent seven years as a running back with the 49ers, Falcons, Browns and Cardinals. He retired from football after the 2010 season and chose to attend business school.
Recently, he has worked as a partner in the operations practice of McKinsey & Company, a prestigious consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. At McKinsey, Wright also co-led the company’s anti-racism and inclusion strategy.
Now he’ll step into a crucial role at an organization on the brink of major change. The Washington Football Team has been riddled with problems, such as recent sexual assault and harassment allegations against the franchise’s leadership, and minority owners attempting to push out primary owner Dan Snyder.
At the same time, the team vowed to change its name and logo after years of criticism for using the name ‘Redskins’ and the Native American imagery, formally changinh its name to ‘Washington Football Team’ for the 2020 season.
The team has been without a president since Bruce Allen was fired at the end of last season, Wright will focus solely on the business side of the franchise, while head coach Ron Rivera will handle all things football. Wright not only makes history being selected for this role, but will continue to play a major part in one of the most significant moments in Washington Football and NFL history.