Erk Russell Dies from Stroke - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/08/06

Erk Russell Dies from Stroke

Images of Russell from the WTOC archive. Images of Russell from the WTOC archive.

Retired football coach Erskine "Erk" Russell has died. He was Georgia Southern's first football coach after a 40-year hiatus for the program, and a former UGA assistant coach under Vince Dooley.

Bulloch County coroner Jake Futch has confirmed the death. Earlier this morning, Russell was pulling out from gas station on the west side of Statesboro when the coroner believes he had a stroke behind wheel. The vehicle continued on and hit a pole, but it's believed he was already dead at the time.

Russell was born July 23, 1926 in Birmingham, Alabama. He coached at GSU from 1982 to 1989, during which time the Eagles earned three national championships, 68 wins and 14 All-American selections.

He is credited with rebuilding GSU's football program which had been defunct since World War II.

Russell had been defensive coordinator at Georgia for 17 years.

In 2004, he was inducted into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame.

WTOC talked with fans, supporters, and others. For more on Erk Russell's life and career, follow the links below.

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