Bucknell Athletics Mourns the Loss of Hall of Fame Swimming and Water Polo Coach Dick Russell
April 29, 2008
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Dick Russell, who coached the Bucknell men's swimming and diving team from 1968-94 and founded the men's water polo program in 1977, passed away on Saturday at the age of 75, at The Ohio State Medical Center, in Columbus, Ohio.
Inducted into the Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997, Russell was the foundation of the Bucknell aquatics program for more than a quarter-century. As the men's swimming and diving coach, he led his teams to a dual-meet record of 154-121 and captured 11 conference championships. He coached the water polo team from its inception in 1977 until 1986, compiling an incredible 223-68-4 record. Russell was the first coach in Bucknell history to lead two different teams to 100 or more victories.
Under Russell, the Bucknell water polo program won four Eastern titles and played in the NCAA Championships five times. A former president of the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern Water Polo Leagues, he was named Eastern Water Polo Coach of the Year in 1985 and was later inducted into the Collegiate Water Polo Hall of Fame.
In January 2007, the Bison swimming and diving program and the Bison Club held a reunion in his honor on the Bucknell campus, with more than 60 alumni returning to celebrate his Hall of Fame career.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Mary Lou; a son and daughter-in-law, David and Jane Russell, Danville, Pa.; a daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer and Ron Lachey, New Albany, Ohio; three grandchildren; a brother, John E. (Jodie) Russell; a sister-in-law, JoAnn Wayson; and a niece and nephews. He was preceded in death by a brother, William Russell.
Visitors may call Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, at Schoedinger Northeast Chapel, 1051 E. Johnstown Road, Gahanna, Ohio. The funeral and burial will follow at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Richard's memory to the Dick Russell Swimming and Water Polo Scholarship Fund, Attention: Bucknell University Athletics, Lewisburg, PA 17837.
Obituary from The Columbus Dispatch