Football Hall-of-Famer to speak at Lourdes
COAL TOWNSHIP — A former Pittsburgh Steeler, two time Super Bowl Champion and NFL Hall of Famer will give a motivational speech Friday at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School. The public is invited to attend.
Andy Russell, a former linebacker with the Pittsburgh Steelers, will hold a school-wide assembly and a photo and autograph session beginning at 10 a.m. His appearance is in conjunction with the annual EconomicsPennsylvania Adam Smith Distinguished Leadership Award luncheon being held in Selinsgrove to honor J. Donald Steele Jr., chairman and president, Northumberland National Bank.
Russell will discuss his philosophy on the importance of people pursuing standards of excellence and integrity while making decisions and choices.
Success on and off field
Considered by most sports writers, analysts and other professional players as one of the best NFL/Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers ever to play football, Russell not only accumulated an enviable “on the field” record, but also became a successful business leader, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and volunteer for numerous charitable and philanthropic causes.
His annual Andy Russell Celebrity Golf Classic, now in its 38th year, has raised more than $6 million for charitable causes, including EconomicsPennsylvania of which he serves as vice chair of the Board of Directors.
In addition to playing football in high school and college, Russell coached and played while in the military. In 1963, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Russell said he’s proud that he never missed a game due to injuries or any other reason from high school through the NFL.
Russell played on the All Pro Rookie Team in 1963, All-Pro or All-Conference for seven years and played in seven Pro Bowls, (he is the only NFL linebacker to play six consecutive Pro Bowls). He played along side the famed Pittsburgh’s famed “Steel Curtain” defense.
He was chosen by the NFL Hall of Fame Selection Committee to the NFL All Pro Team of the 70s and was Steelers captain for 10 years. Russell is the recipient of the Byron Whizzer White Award, was named defensive MVP in 1968 and 1970 and Team MVP in 1971. He played in two winning Super Bowls, 1974 and 1975 and was the team representative to the Players Association for two years.
His charitable involvements include participating in the NFL USO Goodwill Tours to Vietnam and Italy. He served on the board of the NFL Alumni, is a member of the NFL’s “300 Greatest Players” and was inducted into the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame and University of Missouri Hall of Fame.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and has been recognized for his philanthropic work, along with his wife, Cindy, by Big Brothers/Big Sisters; the Mel Blount Youth Home; the American Heart Association; Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall; the Myron Cope Legends in Sports Award. He is the chair for the annual Dapper Dan Ray Mansfield Event, has been a representative to the annual Super Bowl Taste of the NFL dinner for the past 11 years and represents EconomicsPennsylvania Adam Smith Award for Distinguished Leadership.
Following the speech and photo session, Russell will sit down to lunch with several Lourdes Honor students.
Russell will also be at the Dairy Queen Grill & Chill, Shamokin Dam, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday to sign books and memorabilia.