Denison University’s 178th Commencement took place on Saturday, May 18. Watch the ceremony in its entirety including commencement keynote speaker Jennifer Garner ’94.
Rob Russo has served as the head men’s soccer coach at Denison since 1999. Since his arrival in Granville Russo has guided the men's soccer team multiple North Coast Athletic Conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. to 148 victories, three North Coast Athletic Conference Championships and three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances.
Russo's 2003 squad posted a program-best 18-3 record and a share of the North Coast Athletic Conference Championship. Denison began the year with a school record 13 consecutive victories and was ranked as high as No. 2 in the NSCAA/Adidas Division III men’s soccer national poll. The Big Red qualified for the NCAA tournament for the seventh time in school history and the first time since 1983. He was also named the NSCAA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
Russo, who is certified by the United States Soccer Federation with an “A” license, holds a bachelor's degree in physical education (1977) from Wilmington College, where he also played varsity soccer. Russo continued his education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, earning a master's degree in health and physical education (1979). While at Miami, Russo served as both assistant and head coach of the Redhawks' men's soccer team. Most recently, he was the men's soccer coach at the State University of New York - College at Oneonta from 1995 through 1998.
Russo began his coaching career in 1978 at Miami University of Ohio as an assistant on the men's soccer staff. In 1980, he was named head coach of the program as well as serving as a physical education instructor during his time at Miami. Following his four-year stint in Oxford, Russo moved on to coach the men's soccer team at Gannon University in Erie, Pa. During his nine years at Gannon, Russo's teams appeared in the NCAA Division II tournament six times. He was named the Western Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Soccer Conference's Coach of the Year three times (1983, '84 and '85), Mid-Atlantic Regional Coach of the Year and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Coach of the Year. In January of 2010, Russo was inducted into the Gannon University Hall of Fame where he remains the program's all-time leader in coaching victories.
In the fall of 1991, Russo took the head coaching position at the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg. During his four seasons in Spartanburg, Russo's teams advanced to the NCAA Division II tournament each year. In 1992, he was named the NSCAA South Regional Coach of the Year. He earned Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year recognition in both 1992 and 1994. Russo also served as a physical education instructor. He was president of the Western Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Soccer Conference in 1983.