Former Ferris State Football Player, Assistant Coach Travis Russell Goes Above and Beyond

MCKINNEY, Texas – Former Ferris State football player Travis Russell returned to McKinney, Texas for the Bulldogs’ national championship as an assistant coach. But this time, his trip to Texas looked a little different than it did for the rest of the team.

Russell was tasked with driving head coach Tony Annese’s car to McKinney while the rest of the team flew.

“The drive was smooth, it went really well. I only made three stops total,” said Russell. “I left at about 9:30 in the morning and made it here, central time, by midnight.”

“I’m just happy. Happy he got here and we’re all good. We are all good,” said Tony Annese with a laugh when asked if he was surprised his car made it down in one piece.

Russell was a quarterback on the 2018 team that reached the national championship. He said it means the world to him to work and learn alongside his old coach as an assistant.

“Part of wanting to get into coaching is because the coaches I’ve played for, Coach Annese especially, have changed my life,” said Russell.

Travis Russell Pkg 12172100 01 46 01still002Russell clearly loves Annese, as evidenced by the willingness to road trip to Texas with his car. Their relationship has traveled too, from coach and player to colleagues and roommates.

“It’s been incredible. First of all, he’s my roommate and so he lives with me right now and he’s just been a blessing,” said Annese.

For Russell’s coaching career, the trip is just beginning.

“He’s going to be a great, great coach. He’s going to be way above where I ever landed here in the coaching profession. And I’m proud of that,” said Annese.

Russell added he’s been picking Annese’s brain every day to learn all he can from him. Saturday night at 9 p.m. he’ll take the field as a coach with the same goal he had as a player just three years ago: to win a national championship.

The Bulldogs will look to bring home the NCAA Division II national title in their matchup against Valdosta State on Saturday night.

Be sure to stick with 9&10 News and MISportsNow for all of the coverage leading up to this year’s NCAA Division II National Championship on our website and social media.

Categories: Football