returns to the Waxer organization for his seventh season as Head Coach
after making his Head Coaching debut at the Junior A level with the
previously an assistant under Brad Selwood in Thornhill between 1994-96 before accepting
the Head Coach position from ownership group at the start of the 1996-97 season.
There he coached Strength and Conditioning Coach Anthony Belza,
who was the co-captain of that team.
Russ grew up playing his minor hockey in
Unionville and Thornhill. He was a member of the All-Ontario Peewee champions in
Unionville in the 1984-85 season. He played Minor Bantam and Bantam in Thornhill before
making the jump to the Thornhill Thunderbirds Junior A team. Between 1988-1990, Russ
played for Thornhill (with current assistant Mike
Heaney) before being traded to the Markham Waxers for the remainder of the
1989-90 season and was drafted by the OHL London Knights in the 1989 OHL Draft.
After graduating from Holy Trinity School in
1990, Russ continued his career at the University of Western Ontario where he played
against former assistant coach Jeff Laceby (Laurier) and with former assistant Sean Basilio. Russ played for three years at UWO while
earning a B.A. in Administrative and Commercial Studies. Russ earned a free-agent tryout
with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1993 and played in rookie games and exhibition games with
the St. John's Maple Leafs before being assigned to their East Coast Hockey League
affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays. Russ played there for a season and when he was
traded to Louisville, he decided to retire and try his hand at coaching.
His first eight years were fairly successful
amassing a 220-139-30-14 record. Russ has seen graduates move on to all
levels of hockey including NCAA (24), CIS (11), the OHL (14) and
Professional ranks (11). In 2001, graduate Raffi Torres played for Canada's World
Junior Team and in the 2003-2004 season, five graduates, Torres Steve
Moore, Sean Avery, Mike York and Mike Weaver, have played in the NHL.
the 1997-98 season, Russ was selected as one of the two coaches for the Metro League West
All-Star Team and later was selected as a guest coach for the 1998 Ontario Under-17
Evaluation Camp and also was called upon to help coach at the Ontario
Under-17 Evaluation Camp in 1999.
In the 2002-03 season,
Russ was selected as the South Division All-star Coach, where he
helped guide the South-East Allstars to victory. Russ was then
voted South Division Coach of the Year by the South Division General
Managers and went on to coach the Waxers to their first 30 win season
in over 20 years, and their first Division Championship in almost 30
Russ currently works for his parent's company
in Markham. He and his wife Janice live in Newmarket along with their
two children Regan (born
Feb. 8, 1997) and Griffin (born June 13, 1999).