Jan. 28, 2011

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A veteran of 25 years in athletics training and physical therapy with University of Notre Dame athletics, Jim Russ has been named to the new position of Director of Athletic Training and Rehabilitative Services.

The new position is part of Notre Dame’s new Sports Performance Division that involves coordination of all medical, athletic training, physical therapy, strength and conditioning, sports nutrition and equipment functions for Irish athletic teams. In his new role Russ will report into associate athletics director Mike Karwoski, who oversees the sports performance division.

“As we look to create greater structure for the sports performance area, we had a great interest in creating a position that would provide oversight, direction and expertise for our delivery of athletic training and rehabilitative services to our student-athletes,” said Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick.

“Jim is as well-respected as anyone in the country in his field, with nearly 35 years in the business, so he was a natural for this role. While we will miss Jim’s day-to-day focus on football, this move will enable him to apply his background, expertise and professionalism to provide improved guidance for all of our other sports – and Jim will play a critical role in the continuing integration of the various areas that comprise our sports performance division.”

The La Porte, Ind., native boasted seven years of experience on the collegiate level before a three-year stint in the United States Football League (USFL) as head athletic trainer of the Tampa Bay Bandits — just prior to coming to Notre Dame in 1986. From 1977-82, Russ served asassistant athletic trainer and physical therapist at Purdue University. He then held the same position at the University of Florida for two seasons from 1982-84.

A graduate of Ball State with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and minors in health science and athletic training, Russ earned his master’s degree in athletic training and sports medicine from the University of Arizona, and later added a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University in physical therapy.

While pursuing his master’s degree at Arizona, Russ worked as head athletic trainer at Pueblo High School in Tucson, Ariz. As an undergraduate at Ball State, he served as an athletic trainer and worked with the National Football League’s Detroit Lions. He also served as an assistant athletics trainer at New Castle (Ind.) High School while doing student teaching there.

In June 2000, he was awarded an honorary monogram by the Notre Dame Monogram Club. In 2005 he was inducted into the Ball State University Cardinal Sports Medicine Society Ring of Honor. Russ also was honored in 2005 for his athletic training career by the All-American Football Foundation.

Russ and his wife, the former Mary Pat Shea, of St. Petersburg, Fla., are parents of four children: Jeff (a 2001 Notre Dame graduate), Laura (a 2004 Notre Dame graduate), Lisa (a 2009 Notre Dame graduate) and Mark (a current junior at Notre Dame).

Notre Dame will initiate a search immediately for a new head football athletic trainer.

— ND —