Gary Wright is the quintessential inside man for the Seattle Seahawks.
Since 1976, Wright has held several positions for the NFL team, including: Director of Publicity, Director of Public Relations, Vice President of Public Relations, Team Spokesman and, since 1995, the title of Vice President of Administration.
Looking back fondly at his 32 years with the franchise, he knows that none of it would have been possible if he had not come under the tutelage of great coaches and teachers along the way. “I was mentored at Hoover High by coaches like Sam Nicolson,” Wright said in an interview with Glendale College’s Gateway Magazine. Wright also explains that he “covered GCC athletics for the News Press. GCC journalism teacher Joe Thomas provided these and many other opportunities from my first day on campus. It was a terrific place to go to school and learn.’’
Wright was also the sports information director here at Glendale College from 1964 until 1966, and assumed the same position at Pepperdine University and later at Long Beach State. Soon after, he worked in public relations and administration with the Phoenix Racquets of World Team Tennis and the Southern California Sun of the World Football League.
Although Wright’s impressive resume speaks for itself, few people are aware of the fact that he has been closely involved with 24 Super Bowls. This most recent one was his 20th year acting as Media Center Coordinator. His responsibilities included organizing all media activity for 3,500 journalists from around the world and hosting news conferences.
One of many highlights occurred in 1995 where he was chosen by Steve Largent to be his presenter at the former Seahawk wide receiver’s induction into the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. “I have no idea why Steve chose me to present him but it was a tremendous honor and a moment I will always cherish.’’ Wright also recalls that he was “honored to be the only public relations executive to ever be chosen as a presenter and to be invited to the Hall of Fame luncheon, which was also a thrill. The luncheon was the idea of former Green Bay Packer great Ray Nitzcke years ago and to be in a room with all of those great players was truly unforgettable.’’
Wright was set to retire in June of this year but has decided to help Seahawk owner Paul Allen get a Major Soccer League (MSL) expansion franchise in Seattle off the ground in 2009. Nearing the end of one job and the beginning of another, he spoke candidly about a career working in sports. “I knew I wanted to be in this business since the sixth grade, but I really thought I would be a newspaperman,’’ he explained. “Public relations in any business is just the ability to relate to people in a professional manner. I pride myself on that skill and that is something that has served me well all these years.’’