2017 U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Inductee
San Diego, CA (March 28, 2017) - Jim Russell began his rugby career in the fall
of 1965 at Leighton Park School, in Reading, Berkshire, England. Russell later came back to the United States to play for Duke University from 1966-1970, serving as an
active member of his team, holding leadership positions that included,
secretary, president, coach, and captain in his four-year tenure.
In the 1970s, Russell hit the rugby scene in
Denver, Colorado for the Denver Barbarians while attending the University of
Denver Law School. He captained the Barbarians from 1972-1980 and earned honors
such as Most Valuable Forward in 1970, 1972, and 1974. He also served as Denver
Barbarians President from 1976-1978. Russell captained the 1974 Eastern Rockies
RFU Representative Side.
Jim continued to give back to the sport after
his playing career ended by becoming a well-respected referee within the rugby
community. His 26-year resume includes multiple local, territorial, and
national championships, USA Rugby A-Panel, a handful of U.S. Eagles
matches, USA Rugby appointments to New Zealand during the 1987 Rugby World
Cup, and the 1990 Hong Kong 7s. Russell’s referee expertise is extensive and includes
involvement in referee administration, performance reviewer, evaluator,
assessor, and disciplinary experience. Most notably, Russell continues to serve
as the World Rugby/IRB Judicial Officer and Appeal Officer. With a career as a
U.S. Federal Prosecutor for the District Court of Denver, it is only
appropriate that Jim is one of just two international adjudicators in the
United States recognized by World Rugby.