Russ graduated from Ashville Harrison High School in 1945 and The Ohio State University in 1955. He started his coaching career at Jackson Township as a part-time coach in 1948 and was 6-2. He was at Ashville Harrison for seven years where he won 129 while losing 27. From 1962-68 he was at Teays Valley with an 87-38 record. Eighteen years (1968-84 and 1987-89) were spent coaching at Whitehall. His teams won 15 league titles (1970, 1974, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984 at Whitehall); (1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1962 at Ashville); (1963, 1964, 1966 at Teays Valley). In addition they won 10 sectionals, four districts (Ashville - 1960 and Whitehall - 1971, 1982, 1984); two regional runner-up (Ashville - 1960 and Whitehall - 1984); and were second in the state poll at Whitehall in 1983. He won six Pickaway County Tournaments while at Ashville. Overall his teams won 439 while losing 233 for 65.3%

Along the way he had two undefeated regular seasons and a 46 straight season win streak. Among his honors were the Paul Walker Award, Class AA Coach of the Year, Charter Inductee into District 10 Coaches Hall of Fame, Head Coach in AA North-South All-Star game, six times Ohio Capitol Conference Coach of the Year, Central District AA Coach of the Year, President of the District 10 Coaches Association and Central District Officials Association. Russ served as President of Teays Valley Teachers Association.

His other duties included 17 years as head baseball coach (206-138), seven years as head football coach (31-27). His family includes wife, Clara, children Rex, Allen, Van Arthur, and Mitzi (Gregg) Buck. There are six grandchildren - Eric, Russ, Julie, Diana, Shannon and Shane.