Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeNFLAshton Washington, Player Personnel Coordinator for the Chicago Bears

Ashton Washington, Player Personnel Coordinator for the Chicago Bears

- Advertisement -

Next thing you know, I’m packing my bags and moving to Champaign, Illinois. I went through a season with Coach Smith before he was let go. I was there for another two months and then the new head coach cleaned house, which is normal in this business. I had to go back to the drawing board again, but if you want something, you just don’t stop. Football is addicting, and I couldn’t stay away.

I got a few job offers, but they weren’t the right fit. I eventually took the director of recruiting of operations and creative content at Texas Tech with head football coach Matt Wells. Then while I’m there, I randomly got a phone call from someone saying, “Would you be interested in an opportunity with the Chicago Bears?” They didn’t tell me their name, so I thought it was a prank call at first. I answered the call in the middle of a busy day, and they were asking me all these questions. I asked if I could give them a call back, and before I hung up, he told me his name was Champ Kelly, who was the assistant director of player personnel for the Bears (2017-2021) before joining the Las Vegas Raiders as assistant general manager.

I ended up reaching out to Sam Rapoport, who had previously invited me to be part of the Women’s Careers in Football Forum, to help get his contact. I was able to set up a call with Champ, and the next thing I know, I was into the next round of interviews for the Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship. I had to get permission from Matt Wells to pursue this opportunity, and he gave me the green light and said, “I’ll see you when you get back.”

I spent the summer in Chicago and stayed through training camp, and I was also doing my Texas Tech job during camp. At the end of the fellowship, I was offered this job with the Bears. Coach Wells wanted me to stay at Texas Tech, but understood I had to do what was best for me. I chose the Chicago Bears, and I’ve been here since.

What does your current job entail?

Oh my! How do I sum this job up? I have to be a jack of all trades because I’m working on the college and pro side of scouting. In my mind, I always have to keep those two areas separate, but constantly flip back and forth because they also intersect. Being proactive, disciplined and staying organized are some key components of this job.

With the NFL Scouting Combine at the end of this month, I am the one who is coordinating all of the travel for our staff. I also schedule the top-30 prospect visits, as well as player visits during free agency. For free agency, we get together with the pro staff, watch film and figure out which free agents we want to pursue this offseason. Once we have a list and I get the green light from general manager Ryan Poles, I am the point person who brings players in, books the travel and gets everything set up with our scouting assistants to meet with the players once they arrive.

The main thing with my job is being a great communicator, and I’m growing and getting better at it all the time. You have to keep every department in the loop, whether that’s on the business side, the general manager, assistant GM, coaching, training and equipment staff, etc.

What would you say is the most challenging part of your job?

Right now, I’m in a good place. Learning scouting language and terminology was challenging at first. I’ve always been around football, but coaches interpret things differently than scouts. It is a challenge learning how to put what I’m seeing on film into words scouts are familiar with — like figuring out how to say “He’s big. He’s fast. He’s strong.” in scout-speak. We have open communication where we can all feel comfortable asking questions. Nobody is judging anyone else, so it’s a good environment to learn and be in.

Image & Story Credit:

- Advertisment -

Most Popular