Rusty Russell became famous as the football coach at Masonic Home, a school for orphans in Fort Worth. The "Mighty Mites" often played and defeated schools with much larger players and enrollments. Starting in 1932 Masonic Home was allowed, by a special vote of Fort Worth's 7A district schools, to "play up" and join the district. Competing in the state's largest classification, Russell used a wide-open spread offense to negate his team's lack of size. His brilliant 16 year run at Masonic Home that included - a class B title in 1931, a loss to Corsicana in the 1932 state championship game on penetrations, and three other trips to the semi-finals. Russell spent four seasons at Temple (1923-26) before going to Masonic Home. Russell served as President of the Texas High School Coaches Association in 1935-36. He later coached at Highland Park from 1942-1944 where he tutored Bobby Layne and Doak Walker. After serving five seasons as an assistant coach at SMU Russell accepted the head job from 1950-1952. Russell also coached at Schreiner College and Victoria Jr. College and Howard Payne (1962-63). He is a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame (1981) and the THSCA Hall of Honor (1961). Russell's career high school coaching record was 181-40-14.

Rusty Russell

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