College of Health and Human Performance

Joe Russo (BSPE ’77)

2023 HHP Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee

Joe Russo (BSPE ’77)

Residing in Kenoza Lake, New York, and Delay Beach, Florida, with his wife Rita and their black Labrador retriever, JD, Joe Russo is a former UF wrestler turned coach and physical education teacher at Lindenhurst High School in Lindenhurst, New York, his alma mater. 

For more than 30 years, he coached wrestling, track and field, and strength training, producing numerous champions and All-Americans at high school and college levels. As an Olympic wrestling official for more than 40 years, he officiated eight world championships on five continents and was head staging manager at the 1995 World Championships and 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Russo's involvement in Olympic officiating also led to a small role in the 2013 film "Foxcatcher," based on the true story of the murder of Olympic wrestling champion Dave Schultz. 

Russo's contribution to the sport of wrestling has been acknowledged with inductions into both the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Suffolk County New York Sports Hall of Fame. He now enjoys his retirement pursuing his hobbies, including hunting, fishing, kayaking, hiking, raising Labrador retrievers, going to the gym and attending
wrestling events.

[Profile added in 2023]

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