Dr. Brian Russell was named Associate Athletics Director for Academic Services and Student-Athlete Development at the University of Illinois in August 2018.
Dr. Russell joins the Illinois staff following a 15-year stint at the University of Tennessee, where he was serving as the Director of Student-Athlete Academic Support Services, which included oversight of academic counseling and day-to-day academic services for all Tennessee student-athletes. Additionally, Russell was responsible for providing leadership and development to the associate and assistant directors, academic counselors and graduate assistants within the Thornton Center on the UT campus.
As Associate Director, Russell led the football division that had oversight of academic support and development of football student-athletes, and as assistant director, he oversaw the Programs and Services area including the Thornton Center’s tutorial assistance program, the Maximizing Academic Potential (MAP) program for student-athletes with learning, psychological and physical disabilities, the Achieving Classroom Excellence (ACE) program for at-risk student-athletes, the math and writing labs, programming for high achievers, and the PREGAME summer bridge program for new student-athletes.
A native of Lakeville, Indiana, Dr. Russell holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in college student personnel and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in socio-cultural studies in sport from the University of Tennessee. His dissertation involved research into the academic and athletic adjustment to college of first-year student-athletes. He is a member of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) and holds leadership positions within the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) including serving as Immediate Past Chair of the NCAA Advisory Board.