Mashona Washington began serving as a volunteer assistant coach for Rice in the fall of 2006, lending a hand to the Owls when she is not competing on the professional tour.
After a successful junior career, Washington went pro in 1995. Her breakthrough year came in 2004 when she broke into the world's top-100 for the first time and then finished the year ranked in the top-50. She recorded her first win against a top-10 player when she defeated Maria Sharapova at New Haven, and reached her first top-level singles final in Tokyo where she lost to Sharapova.
Washington was also just shy of beating Sharapova in the first round of the 2006 French Open. She served for the match at 5-4 in the third set and held match point before the then-world No.4 broke back and won the final set 7-5.
As a junior player, Washington won the US Indoor National 18s in 1992, and was a finalist at the US National Hardcourt 16s and US Indoor National 16s in 1991.
She is the sister of MaliVai Washington, who reached the men's singles final at Wimbledon in 1996.