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Mark Washington – BC Lions

by Mark Washington

Fresh off their most recent loss to Calgary Stampeders by a score of 27-13, frustration is mounting amongst players and the coaching staff of the BC Lions. BC had a winning record of 5-2 back on August 5, however, six weeks later things are different. Their record now sits at 6-6, having had only one win in their last five games. “Inconsistent play has been a big issue for the team,” says defensive coach Mark Washington. “We have a good week, then a bad week, then another good one, then a bad one and its gets frustrating how inconsistent our play has been,” Washington adds.

Despite the ups and downs of their season, Washington feels blessed to be a part of the Lions organization. Now in his 21st season as a player/coach, and winner of three Grey Cups, Washington believes he has been called by God to be a leader amongst men, both on and off the field.

In 1997 he was drafted into the CFL by the Montreal Alouettes as a defensive back. While in Montreal he captured his first Grey Cup in 2002. A year later in 2003 he became a free agent and was picked up by the BC Lions. In 2006 Washington helped the Lions win their 5th Grey cup title. However, just two years later he retired from playing football and became a defensive coach for the Lions.

As a BC Lions coach, life gets really hectic for him; but despite being very busy with football, family and faith play an active role in his life. Washington and his wife Judy attend Calvary Worship Center church in Surrey with their two kids. He claims, “It’s important for me to model Christ to my kids. Working hard and being a godly man is important for me and I want my kids to see that in me.”

Washington became a Christian at age 16, but he admits that it wasn’t until he was in his early 20’s and attending college that he truly started living for God. He claims, “God arrested me,” and after that he gave up areas of his life which he had withheld from God. Washington says God then informed him that he had bigger plans for his life.

Currently Washington is an active member at Calvary Worship Center. He mentors young men, leads marriage seminars and occasionally preaches sermons. After all his commitments with football, family and church are met, Mark will attempt to get the odd golf game in now and then.

Mark’s strength, leadership, and success comes from his father George who influenced him the most. Being an amputee since the age of five didn’t stop his father from doing the things he wanted to do in life. In high school George played baseball and later worked as a photographer at the White House. Washington remembers how his father stressed the importance of education, which inspired him to earn a degree in industrial engineering while on his football scholarship at Rudgars University.

Mark Washington firmly believes he is living out God’s calling for his life being a football coach and leader in the church. “God has giving me my life and my life is His, so I have to live it not on my terms but on His,” he explains.  “In my rookie year God revealed something to me: “Football is not why you’re here, it’s how you got here.”

When asked about the possibility of one day being head coach of the Lions, he responds, “I’d be all over that, but, at the end of the day, whatever God wants me to do then that’s what I’m gonna do.”

Author: Peter Biggs

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