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Stanner Hall of Fame

Russo, Joseph

Joseph Russo received a B.A. in History from St. John’s University and an M.A. in Physical Education from NYU. A versatile Varsity Baseball and Basketball coach, Russo also taught social studies, English and physical education at Christ the King High School. He would move on to his alma mater St. John’s to teach coaches, young adults and senior citizens physical education courses. While back at St. John’s he became Head Baseball coach from 1973 through 1996. During his tenure he earned the title of Winningest Coach in St. John’s History with an all-time record of 1011 wins and 443 losses across multiple sports. Russo even has coaching experience at the NCAA Summer Leagues for the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League dating back to 1967, 1968 and 1975. He was head coach for international games for TEAM USA at the Pan American Games in 1995. Again he was head coach for the N.Y./Tokyo Friendship Series in 1989.

Russo’s own playing experience is quite impressive. While as a student at St. John’s, Russo was involved in freshman baseball and basketball, and was captain of Varsity baseball in 1963. As a young aspiring athlete he became a member of Team USA in the Global World Series in Hawaii in 1966. He played in the NCAA summer leagues in Massachusetts in 1963 and shortly after in South Dakota in 1965.

Russo has participated in many workshops and camps for disadvantaged kids. He was president of the Baseball Coaches Advisory Board in 1985 during the Big East Conference. He was also a Pro Liaison to Major League Baseball franchises including the Mets and Yankees. In 1975, Russo served as president of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League and in 1980 as the president of the National Association of Summer Leagues.

Russo has several publications to his credit including The Fundamentals of Coaching and Playing Baseball and Championship Baseball: Techniques, Fundamentals and Drills. He has received recognition in receiving several awards awards over the years. These include Northeast Coach of the Year 1980, North Shore University Hospital Service Award 1990, Police Athletic League Service Award 1990, Big East Coach of the Year 1990 and ’91, and College Coach of the Year- National Italian Hall of Fame 1993. Russo was inducted into Christ the King’s Hall of Fame in 1990 as well as the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1997. Russo’s illustrious 22-year career in the Big East earned him national recognition as well as the opportunity to coach future famed athletes including major league pitchers Frank Viola and John Franco.