Steelers Spotlight: Andy Russell
Andy Russell is a name that many Pittsburgh Steelers fans remember and love. His name may ring a bell if you’re a fan of the “Steel Curtain” or the Steelers team in the 1970s. Russell has made a name for himself both on and off the field.
Russell began playing football in his sophomore year of high school. He played a few different positions but ended up as fullback and linebacker. In his senior year, Russell earned All-State honors. Russell was heavily recruited by out of state universities but eventually settled on the University of Missouri. He was a two-way star at Mizzou and played in three bowl games. He also led the team in rushing and returned a pass interception for 47 yards for a touchdown. After graduating, Russell played his rookie season with the Steelers as a linebacker. He temporarily left the team the following year, however, because he was deployed to Germany to serve in the Army as a Lieutenant. Russell returned to the Steelers in 1966 and would spend the next 11 seasons with the team.
Russell was one of the earlier members of the Steelers’ iconic “Steel Curtain” defensive line. He was named the team’s MVP in 1971, made seven Pro Bowl appearances, and was the Steelers’ team captain for 10 years. Russell also won two Super Bowl championships. Russell is the NFL playoff record for a returned touchdown of 93 yards, which some have claimed to be the longest football play from scrimmage in duration time. In 2011, Russell was named to the Professional Football Researchers Association Hall of Very Good Class. He received numerous awards during his time with the Steelers and never even missed a game.
The awards didn’t stop after Russell’s retirement. He received multiple awards for his involvement in charity, leadership, and involvement in the community. Russell raised over $5 million for multiple charities and was on multiple committees. He even wrote and published three different books. Now, Russell is a partner of Laurel Mountain in Pittsburgh and is involved in multiple finance and investment banking opportunities. Russell has been extremely successful in all aspects of his life.