COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC today announced that it has named Dante Washington as its Director of Team Strategic Partnerships and Business Development. Washington most recently worked for Nationwide Insurance as a Senior Consultant in Strategic Partnerships Business Development. A former player, Washington spent six seasons with Crew SC, making 76 regular-season appearances (53 starts) while scoring 28 goals and providing 14 assists. Notably, Washington also helped the Crew win its first piece of silverware, the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In his new role, Washington will be in charge of youth player development affiliation outreach, alumni relations for the Club, establishing a mentorship program for Crew SC Academy players and other business opportunities to connect with the community.
“We are pleased to announce that Dante Washington will be joining the Crew SC Front Office,” said Crew SC President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Dante’s professional expertise along with his history with the Club make him a great addition to the Crew SC Front Office. He is a great ambassador for the sport in our community and we can think of no one better to serve as a mentor for Crew SC Academy players.”
This year, Crew SC ended its exclusive relationship with player development group Sporting Columbus and the Club is currently re-evaluating the player development affiliation opportunities in the area of youth development camps throughout the region. Broadening the Club’s youth player development reach, Washington is tasked with leading affiliation outreach. The affiliation partnership efforts do not affect operations of the Crew SC Academy.
Continued Bezbatchenko: “A key priority for Crew SC has been reconnecting the local soccer community and Dante is expertly positioned to do just that. His respect for the tradition of this Club and ability to connect with alumni and potential affiliate partners to broaden our reach will allow the Club to continue to grow its impact in Ohio.”
Washington joins Crew SC after working for Nationwide Insurance as a Senior Consultant in Strategic Partnerships Business Development. During his time with Nationwide, Washington worked with multiple departments to launch different initiatives and assisted with relationship building efforts for sports groups in the portfolio. Washington’s background also includes a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.
During his 13-year professional soccer career, Washington spent six seasons with Crew SC, playing for the Crew during the Club’s inaugural season in 1996, before returning and play for the Black & Gold for the 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005 seasons. In all, Washington made 76 regular-season appearances for Crew SC, scoring 28 goals and providing 14 assists, while helping the Club win the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – the Crew’s first piece of silverware – as well as the 2004 Supporters’ Shield.
A two-time MLS All-Star (1997-2000), Washington also played for FC Dallas (1996-1999) and Real Salt Lake (2005), finishing his career with 170 MLS regular-season appearances (113 starts), 52 goals and 32 assists. Prior to becoming a professional player, Washington played for Radford University from 1989-1993, and was named to the First Team All-American in 1991. At the international level, Washington earned six caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team, scoring two goals.
Up next for the Crew is a road contest against Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium on Saturday, July 13 [7:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports GO (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & 971TheFan.com (English); ColumbusCrewSC.com (Spanish)].