My thoughts and prayers go out to the Erk Russell family with the news of his untimely death today. One can hardly fathom how many lives that this legend of a coach has influenced and inspired during his various stints at Grady High School(Atlanta), Auburn, Vanderbilt, UGA and Georgia Southern. Here's hoping that more coaches and players try their best to approach life and football much like Coach Russell did during his 80 years on this earth. I have to say Loran Smith of the Georgia Radio Network summed up why folks loved and will definitely miss coach Russell when he noted the following:
“Erk coached through motivation not intimidation as some thought," said Loran Smith, Georgia Radio Network sideline reporter and longtime Executive Secretary of the Georgia Bulldog Club. "He had the most remarkable ability to make everybody feel good. Secretaries loved him. Custodians loved him. Most of all, his players loved him, which is why the least talented athlete could make a contribution if it was only for one play or one series. He felt that defense was reaction and recognition. He could motivate a kid with heart and an appreciation for team play to help Georgia win championships. He was selfless and was happiest with a beer, a cigar and good conversation. To me, the mark of a great man is when the little people admire and love you. That was certainly the case with Erk. He was the heart and soul of Georgia football for the years he was here.”So take time out of your busy day to offer up a prayer to this legend of a coach.
*Check out this wonderful dedication to coach Erk Russell byMichael Lough of the Macon Telegraph. It pretty much sums up how UGA and GSU fans fell about the man known as Erk.