Gary Wright will be honored as Executive of the Year tonight at the 77th annual Sports Star of the Year banquet for his work as senior vice president of business affairs with Sounders FC.
But without his efforts in several roles with the Seahawks from their inception in 1976 until he retired as vice president of administration in 2008, well, there likely would not have been the job he currently holds with the MLS team or the award he will be presented tonight at Benaroya Hall.
Most fans – of either team – don’t know Wright, or what he does so well behind the scenes. But those who do are aware of his invaluable contributions and the no-nonsense approach and class with which he has conducted his business over the past 36 years.
Suffice it to say, neither franchise would be as successful without his Wright-stuff efforts.
Tod Leiweke knows. He worked with Wright in both his professional incarnations from 2003-10 as CEO of Vulcan Sports and Entertainment.
“Gary is not only a great sports executive, but he is a great man and as responsible for the success of the Sounders off the field as any one person,” Leiweke, now CEO of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, said this week.
As for Wright’s impact on the Seahawks, you only need to know one thing about him: When Steve Largent was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995, he chose Wright to present him at the induction ceremony that summer.
There’s much more to Wright’s story, and you can read it here in this feature at SoundersFC.com.