Auburn hires Russell as Strength coach

Ryan Russell is rejoining the Auburn staff as the director of strength and conditioning for Auburn football, head coach Gus Malzahn announced Sunday.

"We're excited to welcome Ryan back to Auburn as a part of our staff," said Malzahn. "He is on the cutting edge in the strength and conditioning profession, and is a high-tempo, high-energy guy who fits well with our philosophy. He's worked with very successful football programs and knows what it takes to get the most out of his athletes."

Russell held a similar position on Malzahn's staff at Arkansas State, where he served as director of athletic performance during the 2012 season.

"I'm extremely excited to be coming back to Auburn, a place that has been so special to me and to my wife," said Russell. "It's a wonderful university and a great professional opportunity for me to be returning here. I am very appreciative to Coach Malzahn and to Jay Jacobs for giving me this opportunity, and I'm eager to get started."

From 2010-11, Russell served an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Auburn, working with the football program. He was also football's director of sports nutrition. He was an associate strength and conditioning coach for the Boise State football team from 2007-09.

He served professional internships as a strength and conditioning coach at Pitt (2005) and Louisville (2004-05) before coming to Auburn as a graduate assistant coach in 2005-06.

Russell played professional football in the Arena Football League for the Las Vegas Gladiators and the Louisville Fire in 2003.

Russell received his bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from West Liberty State in 2003. He played wide receiver for West Liberty State from 2000-02, receiving all-conference honors all three years. He earned his master's degree in Adult Education from Auburn in December 2006. He holds a number of professional certifications, including CSCS, SCCC, SNC, USAW Level 1, and FMS.

A native of Palm Springs, Calif., he met his wife, the former Sarah Porter, during his first stint at Auburn.