Erskine “Erk” Russell, Jr

Erskine “Erk” Russell, Jr

Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA
Death 8 Sep 2006 (aged 80)
Statesboro, Bulloch County, Georgia, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
Memorial ID 15708697 · View Source
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Legendary Football Coach. Received a bachelor's and master's degree from Auburn University where he played football, basketball, baseball and tennis for the Tigers, earning 10 varsity letters. He was the last four-sport letterman in Auburn history. "Erk" spent 17 seasons under Vince Dooley as the coordinator of the University of Georgia's "Junkyard Dawgs" defense before coming to Statesboro to restart the Eagle program in 1981. In a few short years, he headed a success story unlike any other in college sports since, leading Georgia Southern to its first three Division I-AA national titles. After coaching 17 years at the University of Georgia, he came to Georgia Southern, bringing football to the university and the town of Statesboro. Since leading the Eagle football team to its third NCAA Division l-AA national championship and retiring in December 1989, Coach Russell had continued to give all he could to Georgia Southern. Whether assuming chairmanship of the university's capital campaign or dousing the baseball team bus with Eagle Creek Water before its departure for the College World series, he has remained an active and viable booster of GSU and its programs. As a coach, he saved the best for last. He entered the 1989 season as America's winningest coach, orchestrator of two national championships, 68 wins and 14 All-America selections-during a seven year period. His final record at Georgia Southern was a remarkable 83-22-1 (.788). After the Eagles moved to Division 1-AA in 1984, he fashioned a 70-14 (.825) mark. He averaged 10.4 wins per season. Coach Russell, who developed a reputation as one of college football's great defense coordinators, put together an extraordinary offense for the Eagles. He was honored as "Coach of the Year" in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1984, 1985, 1988 and 1989. In 1987 he was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. In 1989 he was named the USA Today Georgia "Coach of the Year," Georgia "Coach of the Decade," and the Football Gazette "Coach of the Year" as well as receiving many other awards.

Bio by: Just another taphophile

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: dt07
  • Added: 12 Sep 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 15708697
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Erskine “Erk” Russell, Jr (23 Jul 1926–8 Sep 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 15708697, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.