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WALT DISNEY WORLD DRAFTS FORMER NFL ALL-PRO REGGIE WILLIAMS AS DIRECTOR OF SPORTS DEVELOPMENT

 /ADVANCE/ LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Former NFL All-Pro and all-Ivy League linebacker Reggie Williams is teaming up with Walt Disney World Resort as director of sports development.
 Williams, a starter for the Cincinnati Bengals for 14 NFL seasons (1976-89), currently is responsible for the NFL's Youth Education Town, a multi-faceted education and recreation center to be built in South Central Los Angeles.
 In announcing Williams' appointment to the new Disney position, Judson Green, president of Walt Disney Attractions, said, "The objective of this new initiative is to establish the Walt Disney World Resort as an internationally renowned sports venue by attracting a variety of international pro-am sporting events and sports figures, corporate sponsorships and interested spectators to the resort."
 In a statement, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said, "Reggie Williams has been an outstanding NFL player, a World League general manager and a key member of my office staff over the last 18 years. Above all, he's been a leading role model for young NFL players and young NFL fans around the country. We are going to miss his presence, but all of us in the league wish him well with Disney."
 Williams, a native of Flint, Mich., gained notoriety at Dartmouth College, where he was a three-time all-Ivy League selection enroute to a degree in psychology. He became the first Ivy League defensive player ever selected by the NFL when he was taken in the third round of the 1976 draft by Cincinnati.
 His NFL career was star-studded: all-rookie team in 1976; all-pro in 1981; started in two Super Bowls; NFL Man of the Year in 1986; and winner of the Byron R. "Whizzer" White Humanitarian Award in 1985. He was among seven "Athletes Who Care" named "Sportsmen and Women of the Year" by Sports Illustrated magazine in 1987.
 While still playing in the NFL, Williams was appointed to an open seat in the city council of Cincinnati in 1988. He went on to become the first modern athlete ever to win re-election to a public office while still active as a pro athlete.
 From December 1990 to December 1992, Williams was vice president/general manager of the New York/New Jersey Knights of the World League.
 -0- 4/13/93/0600
 /CONTACT: Dave Herbst, Walt Disney World Press & Publicity, 407-824-4531/


CO: Walt Disney World ST: Florida IN: ENT LEI SU: PER

JJ-SS -- FL022 -- 4987 04/12/93 23:15 EDT
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Date:Apr 12, 1993
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