Keeping our eye on: Russell Marsalis
by Don Smith
Published: August 22,2010
Education: BS in health education and coaching, University of Southern Mississippi
Current Position: Head coach, boys basketball, Velma Jackson High School
After seven years teaching and coaching in Mississippi’s public schools, Learned native Russell Marsalis has locked down what he likes best about his job. “Seeing kids mature and become productive members of society and knowing I had a hand in it is my favorite thing about coaching,” says Marsalis. As the physical education teacher and head coach of boys basketball at Velma Jackson, Marsalis keeps his hands full improving his students’s high school experience. Of course, he feels he gets just as much in return. “I enjoy coming to work each day because of the great administration, talented faculty and outstanding student body whom I have the privilege to serve.”
Marsalis has also been proud to measure his success at coaching with the achievements of his teams. Marsalis was assistant coach for the Ridgeland High boys basketball team as they went to the State Semifinals in 2007 and 2008. In his first year as head coach at Velma Jackson, Marsalis guided his team to the South State playoffs for the first time since 2003.
In addition to being a full time teacher and coach, Marsalis is also currently enrolled in the interscholastic athletic administration master’s program at Southern Miss. In his free time, Marsalis enjoys spending time with his expecting wife, Dana, and their 17-month-old son, Jackson. You can also find him listening to local bands, playing playstation and attending Southern Miss sporting events of any kind.
Must Have Mississippi Food: catfish
Favorite Band: Brand New
Last Book Read: “Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer” by Warren St. John
Best Role Models: my parents,Watson and Brenda Marsalis
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