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When the Central State University football team plays West Virginia State in the 11th Annual Chicago Football Classic next month at Soldier Field, the Marauder athletic program will be led by someone who knows a little something about outstanding performa

When the Central State University football team plays West Virginia State in the 11th Annual Chicago Football Classic next month at Soldier Field, the Marauder athletic program will be led by someone who knows a little something about outstanding performances on the gridiron.

Last week, Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow Sr., was named as the school’s new athletic director.

Considered as one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history with the San Diego Chargers, Winslow is best remembered for his performance in a 31-28 playoff victory over the Miami Dolphins in 1982 where he caught 13 passes, including a touchdown pass.

For good measure, he also blocked an attempted game-tying field goal.

Playing in the severe heat of the Orange Bowl, he had to be treated several times for heat exhaustion and had to be helped off the field by two teammates.

“I am confident that Kellen Winslow will provide the leadership and talent to help the university and establish a greater athletic presence locally, regionally and nationally,” said Central State president John Garland.

Almost immediately after the naming of Winslow, it was announced that Central State would join the NCAA Div. II effective Sept. 1.

“The move to Division II of the NCAA will provide a prestigious standing for the university and increased competition for our athletes,” Winslow said.

A native of downstate East St. Louis, Winslow earned All-American honors at the University of Missouri. He played nine seasons with the Chargers and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

His son, Kellen Winslow Jr., is a star tight end for the Cleveland Browns.

As Central State’s director of athletics and student wellness, Winslow will manage and direct the university’s athletic programs, the athletic staff and develop, and implement fundraising and marketing strategies for Central State athletics.

“I am honored to join the Central State university administration,” Winslow said.

“I see the opportunity to develop an innovative wellness program and lead the athletic department as one mission with similar opportunities and goals.”

Winslow said Central State is looking forward to playing in the Chicago Football Classic.

“Having the opportunity to play a game in a great city like Chicago and in a great venue like Soldier Field is great for our university,” he added.

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