Former Player Speaks About the Legacy of Coach Ellington - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/01/07

Former Player Speaks About the Legacy of Coach Ellington

A Coastal Empire coach, who played an important part in Savannah's sports history, has lost his battle with Cancer.

Russell Ellington died this morning at the age of 69. He was a member of the 1967 state championship team from Beach High, the first year black players were allowed into the Georgia High School Association.

He also went on to coach at Savannah State, with the Harlem Globe Trotters and at Beach High School.

One of his former players spoke out about the impact Ellington made on so many lives.

Ronald Booker sees Russell Ellington's face every time he enters the gym at Beach High School

"It just reminds me of an important time in my life and it reminds me how much I admired Coach Ellington," said Booker.

Ellington not only coached the school to four state titles in the 60's and 70's, he was a major influence on Booker, who now serves as Beach High School's athletic director. He even bought him his first pair of basketball shoes.

"I don't know if it was a conscience thing but I just wanted to be around coach that much because I admired him that much," said Booker.

This morning, Booker's friend and role model passed away.

"Certainly we mourn a great person but we need to celebrate the time we had with a great person," said Booker.

A man who's winning touch sparked years of awards for Beach High School. But this wasn't the only mark he left.

Coach Booker says coach Ellington teachings transcend the game of basketball.

"Coach Ellington was always teaching, anytime we go out into the community he was always trying to do good and motivate young people, men and women. The legacy he left us as coaches motivates us to try and do the same," said Booker.

It's this legacy that will keep coach Ellington in the hearts and minds of those who knew him best.

"Right now the only coach for Beach High School is Russell Ellington," said Booker.

Coach Ellington racked up nearly 900 wins in his lifetime. He also played professional football for the New York Giants and is honored in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Morris Brown College Hall of Fame and the Beach High School Hall of Fame.

Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.

Reported by: David Hall, dhall@wtoc.com

 

 

  • NewsNewsMore>>

  • Tropical Update: Alberto sending bands of rain to the Coastal Empire, Lowcountry

    Tropical Update: Alberto sending bands of rain to the Coastal Empire, Lowcountry

    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:42 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:42:14 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    Moisture from Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto will surge into the southeastern United States over the next 24-hours; widespread wet weather is likely Sunday into Monday.

    More >>

    Moisture from Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto will surge into the southeastern United States over the next 24-hours; widespread wet weather is likely Sunday into Monday.

    More >>
  • Savannah law enforcement patrolling land and water over holiday weekend

    Savannah law enforcement patrolling land and water over holiday weekend

    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:19 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:19:46 GMT
    (Source: WTOC)(Source: WTOC)
    (Source: WTOC)(Source: WTOC)
    Memorial Day weekend is in full effect, which means that law enforcement is out in full force. The Department of Natural Resources is also stressing safety throughout the weekend.  Officers say that they'll be cracking down on the usual charges, such as those not wearing seatbelts, or drinking and driving. But they are also on the hunt for anyone who is distracted while driving.  "Well I checked the jail when I left a few minutes ago and we have openings," s...More >>
    Memorial Day weekend is in full effect, which means that law enforcement is out in full force. The Department of Natural Resources is also stressing safety throughout the weekend.  Officers say that they'll be cracking down on the usual charges, such as those not wearing seatbelts, or drinking and driving. But they are also on the hunt for anyone who is distracted while driving.  "Well I checked the jail when I left a few minutes ago and we have openings," s...More >>
  • Quilts of Valor provides healing and comfort to Savannah veterans

    Quilts of Valor provides healing and comfort to Savannah veterans

    Saturday, May 26 2018 6:33 PM EDT2018-05-26 22:33:40 GMT
    (Source: WTOC)(Source: WTOC)

    Quilts of Valor awarded two Savannah Army veterans with quilts on Saturday as a way to thank them for their military service.  Founded in 2003, the organization awards quilts to active service members and veterans to promote healing and comfort. Since their founding, they've awarded around 187-thousand quilts. "...to be able to look at somebody I know who has been through sleepless nights, not able to brush their teeth, not able to shampoo their hair. The smells they ...

    More >>

    Quilts of Valor awarded two Savannah Army veterans with quilts on Saturday as a way to thank them for their military service.  Founded in 2003, the organization awards quilts to active service members and veterans to promote healing and comfort. Since their founding, they've awarded around 187-thousand quilts. "...to be able to look at somebody I know who has been through sleepless nights, not able to brush their teeth, not able to shampoo their hair. The smells they ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly