A familiar face is rejoining the Washington Football Team.
Tim Hightower, a standout at the University of Richmond before his NFL days, has been hired as the team’s director of alumni relations.
Hightower said he’ll aim to connect and support the team’s alumni.
“I know what it’s like to walk through that tunnel, and to be in the locker room with the guys, and to be in the community with players and fans, then also to hang the cleats up and get disconnected and feel like you got lost in the mix,” Hightower said. “Our first job is to find and keep in touch with as many alumni as possible, to engage them and find out how we as an organization can support them, and continue to support their efforts off the field.”
In the role, he’ll reunite with new Washington team president Jason Wright, who played with Hightower on the Arizona Cardinals.
“Tim and I were teammates and I’ve been fortunate enough to witness the type of character he brings on and off the field,” Wright said. “He is an amazing, dedicated individual who is committed to making an impact on those around him and will be a strong addition to our front office. As a former player, Tim understands the importance of his position and will do a masterful job connecting the alumni, team and community.”
For Hightower, he said the last three years have been a chance to reflect and spend time with family after a career in the game.
He said he knew he wanted to get back into football in some capacity, but didn’t know exactly what he was seeking until this position opened with Wright.
Seeing Wright get the position in Washington was no surprise to Hightower, who described him as “a leader from day one” in the NFL.
Now Hightower will try to build a bridge between current and former players.
“I think the stronger your alumni base is, it helps your team morale,” he said. “It sends a message — when you see guys who have come before you engage in the organization and want to be a part, want to be around, as you create that culture — it sends a positive message that hey, there’s something I’m doing now that’s really going to impact me and my family long after. These guys want to be around.”
Hightower will also have a stake in one of the most important initiatives in Ashburn right now, the renaming of the team.
When the organization began thinking about how to rename, former players were identified as being a group that needed to have a voice.
“I’m excited about it being a collective decision,” Hightower said. “Not just one or two people, but many people that are a part of this organization, that care about the organization and the community. I think the strength of that collective will definitely go a long way.”
Monday was his first day on the job, but for now, he still lives in Richmond — the team offices have restrictions on capacity due to COVID-19.
He said he’s been impressed by what he’s seen, referencing new coach Ron Rivera and the culture he is working to instill, and said he aims to complement that.
“It goes a long way for you to be able to focus, as a player, when you know the organization is taking care of your family and your loved ones,” he said. “Then when they’re done, make sure these players can really focus on having success off the field.”