When talking about some of the great coaches in volleyball, it becomes less about the sport itself and more about the molding of young athletes. This is no different with Carol Russo. Coaching 26 years at Elyria High School in Elyria, Ohio, Russo had an astounding 575-126 record, 19 conference championships, 14 district championships, three regional championships and a Division I State Runner-up in 1996. She was a NFHS Section 2 Coach of the Year and a Hall of Famer at both Elyria High School and the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association.
However, those numbers don't do justice to what kind of coach and person she is. Currently the Executive Director of the OHSVCA, Russo has used her leadership skills to secure contracts and continuously grow the Association to one of the best high school coaches associations in the country. Under her guidance, the Board of Trustees now meets in a winter work session, the constitution and bylaws have been updated, job descriptions were written and a pay rubric was put in place.
Their website has also taken great leaps forward thanks to Russo's leadership. Coaches can report match scores, vote on a poll and register for a clinic online. While also serving on the Strategic Planning Commission, her vision for the OHSVCA is very progressive as she will do whatever it takes to advance the sport of volleyball.
Russo's relationship with the AVCA has only grown over the years. She has presented at numerous AVCA Conventions and networks with other coaches and leaders across the country. The annual High School Under Armour All-America Match & Skills Competition would not be nearly as successful without the help from Russo, who assists with the organization of players and practice sessions. The volleyball coaching legend serves on the AVCA Publications Committee in addition to serving as Chair of the High School All-American Committee.
"I can say without equivocation that Mrs. Russo has done more to advance interscholastic volleyball than any person with whom I have had the opportunity to work in my 23 years as an administrator with the Ohio High School Athletic Association," said OHSAA Associate Commissioner Deborah Moore. "Her leadership skills are legendary, and she is one of the most successful volleyball coaches in Ohio High School History. But even more important, she is an educator who always had the best of her students as her primary focus."