Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
At the end of the school year, Woodbridge High School’s athletic director George Washington will retire after 18 years with PWCS. It’s been quite a ride for this soft-spoken coach. When Woodbridge’s Lady Vikings won the 2019 state championship basketball title, Washington said, “It was the only thing I needed to complete my career.”
Washington began his career as the girls’ varsity basketball coach at Woodbridge. Tamika Dudley, the current coach, was in her senior year when he guided the team to all the way to the state semi-finals, just missing the opportunity to play in the state title game.
Dudley, reflecting on her experiences with Washington and how it influenced her to become a coach, said, “Washington wanted to be a mentor for the students, not just a coach. He taught me that building relationships with kids and helping them to be successful is more important than winning. Winning should never be a motivation.”
Not that long after Dudley returned to Woodbridge as an assistant coach for Washington, she was faced with a life and death situation. In the middle of a game, Washington suffered a heart attack and Dudley jumped into action providing life-saving CPR and first aid until emergency personnel arrived. This event brought the pair even closer – Washington now considers Dudley as a daughter and part of his family.
Washington admits that once he retires, he will no longer be a coach, but a fan and supporter on the sidelines. He leaves Woodbridge knowing he is leaving the girls basketball program in good hands.
“Dudley has developed so many students. She knows that relationships are so important to success,” said Washington.
Dudley knows Washington will always be there to support her and offer advice if needed. She is already focusing on next year and next season. “I want to see these kids have life experiences. Basketball is the current vehicle for them to explore the world. It is more than the game, it is about helping the students enjoy it,” said Dudley.