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Ernestine Russell
Ernestine Russell

Alma Mater:
Michigan State, 1960

A two-time Canadian Olympian, Ernestine Russell was the head coach at the University of Florida for 13 years and at Clarion State for 10 prior to her arrival at Florida. She is now in her third season assisting Ray Corn at Utah State.

At UF, Russell's teams posted a 185-48 record, won one national title and made 11 consecutive NCAA Championship appearances between 1979 and 1992. In her 23-year career as a collegiate head coach, her teams were 243-48.

Florida won the final AIAW gymnastics championship in 1982, the same year Russell was named AIAW National Coach of the Year. In her time at UF, just Florida and Utah qualified for every NCAA championship between 1982, when the organization began sanctioning women's championship events, and 1992.

Russell was the head coach of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, an assistant on the 1976 U.S. Olympic team, head coach of the 1978 U.S. World Championship team and participated at the 1977 and 1985 World University Games as head coach.

Under Russell, UF claimed five SEC titles, and she earned SEC Coach of the Year honors in 1989 and 1992. Her student-athletes earned 35 All-American and 20 all-SEC honors. Three gymnasts earned NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships, while 37 were named academic all-SEC.

Prior to arriving at Florida, Russell was the head coach at Clarion State College for 10 years, where her teams won AIAW national titles in 1977 and 1978. A native of Windsor, Ontario, she represented Canada in the 1956 and 1960 Olympics.

A 1960 graduate of Michigan State, Russell resides in Logan, Utah, and has a daughter and one grandson.

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