UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. – With nearly 20 years of coaching in the Colonial Athletic Association, Russ Huesman brings a wealth of experience to his new job as the head coach of the University of Richmond football team.
Huesman returns to the Spiders, where he was the defensive coordinator on the 2008 National Championship team, after eight tremendously successful seasons at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
“We’re excited to have Coach Huesman rejoin the Spider family, I’d like to thank Dr. Crutcher for his tremendous leadership and guidance throughout this process,” Director of Athletics Keith Gill said. “Russ Huesman has an excellent understanding of what it takes to be successful here at Richmond, including our expectations of excellence in the classroom and on the gridiron. He was instrumental in our 2008 football national championship so he understands our culture of success.”
The three-time SoCon Coach of the Year and three-time National Coach of the Year Award finalist will be introduced at a press conference on Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the Johnson Terrace inside the Robins Center. The press conference is open to the public.
“We are delighted with the outstanding job Director of Athletics Keith Gill has done in bringing to Richmond such a skilled and accomplished coach as Russ Huesman,” said University of Richmond President, Ronald A. Crutcher. “Spiders remember Coach Huesman for the important contribution he made to our national championship season in 2008. Under Coach Huesman’s leadership, we know that our student athletes will be mentored, inspired, and challenged to continue a winning tradition at the University of Richmond.”
In his 30-plus years of coaching, Huesman has coached 39 All-Americans and 21 NFL Draft Picks, while being a part of nine conference championships and the 2008 National Championship with the Spiders.
“I’m excited to return to Richmond, a place that my family and I dearly love, for the opportunity to be the head coach of this incredibly successful football program,” Huesman said. “I’m very appreciative of President Crutcher and Keith Gill for putting their belief in me and allowing me this chance to work with such a tremendous group of young men. The commitment of this University and the Athletic Department to its football program is evident through the recent success and I look forward to building on that success at even greater heights.”
In his eight seasons at UTC, Huesman helped guide the Mocs to a 59-37 record, including a 36-16 mark in the past four seasons, which featured three Southern Conference regular season championships.
Chattanooga is one of only 10 programs in the country to reach the FCS Playoffs in each of the past three seasons. The Mocs are also just one of four programs in the country to post a playoff win in each of the past three seasons.
In the last eight seasons, the Mocs had at least seven players named to the All-SoCon team every year, including a school-record 17 honorees in 2014. Prior to Huesman’s arrival, the Mocs had not boasted seven members of any All-SoCon team since 1979.
UTC had 17 All-American honorees and three NFL draft picks with DB Buster Skrine (Cleveland – 2011), QB B.J. Coleman (Green Bay – 2012) and LB Davis Tull (New Orleans – 2015) over the last eight years.
“This University demands excellence both athletically and academically and we look forward to holding our student-athletes to the highest standard,” Huesman said. “I believe in this program and am excited to get to work.”
During his stop in Richmond, Huesman molded the Spiders’ defensive unit into one of the best in the country. In his final year at Richmond, the national championship season, the Spiders led the country in interceptions and finished in the top-10 in four other defensive categories.
Under Huesman’s guidance, the Spiders had 23 All-Conference selections, including former NFL standouts Lawrence Sidbury, Jr. and Justin Rogers.
Prior to his time with the Spiders, he spent six years at the University of Memphis, where he held several positions, serving as the recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach. He also coached the outside linebackers, tight ends and running backs. As recruiting coordinator, Huesman brought in a Top 50 recruiting class, ranked No. 1 in Conference USA, in 2002. It was the first recruiting class ranked in the Top 50 at Memphis.
Huesman also coached for 14 years at William & Mary, both with the defense and special teams. During his time in Williamsburg, Huesman coached Steve Christie, a 15-year NFL place kicker with Tampa Bay, Buffalo, San Diego and the New York Giants. His coaching family tree also includes Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Alan Williams, the defensive backs coach for the Indianapolis Colts and Sean McDermott, the defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers. All three played for Huesman at William & Mary.
Huesman’s success on the gridiron is not limited to just coaching as he was a standout player at perennial power Moeller High School in his native town of Cincinnati, Ohio, prior to joining Chattanooga, where he played both football and baseball.
During his playing career with the Mocs, he helped UTC to a 31-11-2 mark and two Southern Conference championships.
Huesman was on the Mocs' sidelines for the 1982 season as a student coach, earning his degree in business education in 1983. He followed that up with a move to the University of South Carolina as a graduate assistant under Morrison.
Huesman and his wife Amy have two daughters, Natalie (20) and Emily (17) and two sons, Jacob (23) and Levi (13).