Erskine "Erk" Russell
Class of 1991

Category: Football

Born: 7/23/1926
Birthplace: Birmingham, AL

Erskine "Erk" Russell was born on July 23, 1926 in Birmingham, Alabama. He grew up playing football in Ensley Park and later at Ensley High School. The Ensley native was a four-sport letterman at Auburn University. After starting his coaching career at Grady High School in Atlanta, he went on to serve as assistant coach at Auburn and Vanderbilt before joining Coach Vince Dooley's staff at Georgia in 1964. It was at Georgia that he became famous for creating the Junkyard Dog defenses which led Georgia to a national championship in 1981. In 1981, Erk Russell was hired to build a football program at Georgia Southern University and build he did. Russell produced three national championship teams and was runner-up on two other occasions. This coaching legend will always be remembered for his ingenious means of motivating his players. He died in 2006..

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