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  • Special Teams
  • Born: June 12, 1948, Chicago, IL
  • 3rd Year w/Ravens
  • 16th Year NFL
  • 30th Year Coaching
  • Whittier College

     
  • Russ Purnell  

    Russ Purnell, a 16-year NFL coaching veteran, is in his third season as the Ravens’ special teams’ coach. Last year, K Matt Stover made his first Pro Bowl and led NFL kickers with 35 field goals and 135 points. Stover has a remarakable 87.5% success rate (63 of 72) over the last two seasons. P Kyle Richardson has led the NFL in punts-inside-the-20 each of the last two seasons (35 in 2000 and an NFL record 39 in 1999). The Ravens also led the league in 2000 with a 15.8-yard punt return average, and Jermaine Lewis led the NFL with a 16.1-yard punt return average on 36 returns, the highest for a player with at least 30 punt returns in a season in NFL history. Lewis, who scored two touchdowns on punt returns against the Jets on 12/24/00, also raced 84 yards for a score on a kickoff return in Super Bowl XXXV to ice Baltimore’s 34-7 win over the Giants. Purnell’s special teams were ranked fourth overall in The Dallas Morning News, an annual ranking by writer Rick Gosselin. The rankings take into account several different statistical categories.

    Purnell spent four seasons with the Tennessee Oilers (1995-98), after spending nine seasons (1986-94) with the Seattle Seahawks. With the Seahawks, Russ was the tight ends/assistant special teams’ coach in 1987, before taking over the special teams and tight ends in 1992.

    Russ entered the collegiate coaching ranks in 1970 as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Whittier College. He coached for four seasons at USC as special teams and tight ends’ coach before joining the Seahawks as offensive special assignments’ coach in 1986. He was promoted to special teams/tight ends coach in 1992.

    Purnell played at Orange Coast J.C. and transferred to Whittier College. He started his coaching career at Corona del Mar H.S. in 1972 and then coached at Edison High from 1973-81, before joining John Robinson’s staff at USC. Russ and his wife, Jill, have three children, Timothy (5/11/88) and twins Erin and Jonathan (2/11/91). The Purnells live in Ellicott City, MD.

    Coaching Background: Corona del Mar High School (1972); Edison High School (1973-81); 1982-85 (University of Southern California); 1986-94 (Seattle Seahawks); 1995-98 (Houston/Tennessee Oilers); 1999-2001 (Baltimore Ravens).

    Last updated on 8/22/01.