When Super Bowl LVIII kicks off on Sunday in Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will be well represented, as several alumni will play a significant role in the event.
Ted Crews (Courtesy photo)
Two HBCU alums will play major roles: Ted Crews, the executive vice president of communications for the Kansas City Chiefs, and Corry Rush, the vice president of football communications for the San Francisco 49ers, will make history.
For the first time, two media officials from their respective teams are Black and hail from HBCUs.
Crews, a graduate of South Carolina State, is in his 25th year overall with NFL and 13th year with the Kansas City Chiefs, has been a part of five Super Bowls.
“It is especially gratifying to be in this position,” said Crews. “It all started for me in the sports information office at South Carolina State under Mr. legendary Bill Hamilton. That experience helped me begin my journey. Along the way, I have been blessed to have some outstanding mentors and pioneers like Bruce Speight (Carolina Panthers and Howard University), Tony Wyllie (former vice president for communications of the Washington Commanders and Texas Southern), Avis Roper (formerly with the Indianapolis Colts and currently with the NFL and South Carolina State), Artis Twyman (Los Angeles Rams and Tennessee State) and Duane Lewis (formerly of the St. Louis Rams and Southern University). They all played an important part in my success.”
Crews serves as the primary media contact and spokesperson for the team across football and business operations, while also focusing on media scheduling, preparation and speech writing. He serves as the club’s key liaison between team executives, coaches and players with local, national and international media members and works closely with all key staff leaders.
Widely respected in the profession, Crews has been honored by the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation three times at the Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Salute to Excellence Awards Ceremony for his outstanding work and success in an executive position in the NFL.
He has been invited to serve as a captain on the NFL’s Super Bowl public relations staff 10 times and has worked a number of Pro Bowls.
Before joining the Chiefs, Crews spent three seasons as senior director of communications for the St. Louis Rams and four seasons as football communications manager with the Atlanta Falcons, after serving five seasons as the media relations assistant. He served two seasons as an intern for the Carolina Panthers.
Crews graduated from South Carolina State University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree and received the school’s Distinguished Young Alumnus Award in 2014.
Bill Hamilton, the Hall of Fame retired sports information director, is credited with influencing and preparing both Roper and Crews.
“Ted was a real find for me in my department,” noted Hamilton, a member of numerous Halls of Fame. “He was recommended by a former employee in my office so I hired him. He started out slow but once he settled in, I became amazed at his ability to write stories and get things done. It is pretty awesome to have him and Avis (Roper) do what they are doing. We are very proud of them.”
Like Crews, Rush also got his start in the sports information office at his alma mater Texas Southern.
His story is an example of what it takes to work one’s way up the food chain. Now in his 20th season in the NFL and second as vice president, football communications for San Francisco, he joined the 49ers after spending the previous seven seasons (2014-20) with the New York Giants as vice president of communications (2016-21) and director of communications (2014-2016)
Rush originally joined the league office as American Football Conference (AFC) Information Manager before being promoted to director of AFC Communications in 2011. Rush was responsible for generating all football publicity for the National Football League’s American Football Conference, while serving as the primary liaison for local and national media outlets and broadcast partners that cover the AFC clubs.
Rush began his NFL career as a community relations intern with the Tennessee Titans in 2003 before working as a public relations intern with the Denver Broncos in 2004.
He spent the 2004 regular season as a gameday assistant in the public relations department with the Houston Texans, before returning to Tennessee to work in the Titans public relations department (2005-07).
Rush’s current duties include serving as the 49ers’ day-to-day spokesman on all football matters, while acting as the team’s liaison with local, national, and international media outlets.
In addition to managing the publicity efforts for the team, Rush’s staff also actively promotes the efforts of the 49ers’ community relations and social justice initiatives.
This is Rush’s first Super Bowl.
Source: Washington Informer