The Friars will play 15th-ranked Minnesota-Duluth for two games, beginning on Friday, October 21 at Schneider Arena. Game two is the following night.
Jamie Russell enters his third season as an assistant coach of the Providence College hockey program.
Russell has helped the Friar staff engineer a program turnaround that has seen the Friars make back-to-back Hockey East Championship semifinal appearances for the first time since 1996. Last season, Providence finished the year with a winning record (17-14-7) for the first time since 2006.
During practices and games, Russell works closely with the Friar defensemen and the team's penalty killing units. Last season, the Friars limited opponents to just 90 goals (2.37 gpg), their lowest season total since the 1963-64 season. Russell also works on opponent scouting video and with recruiting.
Russell, who spent eight seasons as the head coach at Michigan Tech in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), was named the 2007 WCHA co-Coach of the Year to become the third Michigan Tech coach to earn the honor. In 2006-07, Russell led Michigan Tech to an 18-17-5 overall record, its highest win total since 1995-96. The Huskies also made their first appearance at the WCHA Final Five since 1996 after defeating Colorado College in the opening round of the league playoffs. While at Michigan Tech, Russell coached two All-Americans, five All-WCHA selections, one Hobey Baker Award finalist, 60 WCHA All-Academic Team recipients and 16 WCHA Scholar-Athletes. He also ranks second in career wins at Michigan Tech.
Prior to Michigan Tech, Russell was the lead assistant coach at Cornell University. He helped build the Big Red into a national powerhouse. During his four-year tenure (1999-03), the Big Red amassed an 87-39-10 record, won two Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) regular-season titles (2001-02, 2002-03) and an ECAC Tournament championship (2002-03). In addition, Cornell advanced to the NCAA Championships on two occasions -- a final eight appearance in 2002 and a spot in the Frozen Four in 2003. CU completed 2002-03 with a school-record 30-5-1 mark and was the top-ranked team in the country in the final regular-season poll. Cornell finished No. 1 in the country in both team defense (1.36 goals against per game; next closest, 2.21) and penalty killing (.900) in 2002-03.
Russell also served as the assistant coach at Ferris State of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) for five years (1994-99). He recruited the senior class that helped win the 2003 CCHA regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Championship regional final.
Russell has been extensively involved with USA Hockey. He served as the director of the USA Regional Bantam Evaluation Camp from 1996 to 1999 and also has been a lecturer for the USA Hockey Coaches Achievement Program. Russell, a native of Kamloops, B.C., has been an instructor at multiple hockey schools, including Michigan Tech's Hockey Development Center.
As a student-athlete, Russell played two seasons at Michigan Tech after sitting out 1986-87 due to transfer rules. He was an assistant captain in both seasons as a defenseman for the Huskies (1987-88, 1988-89) and posted career totals of eight goals and 22 assists in 77 games played. Following graduation, he went on to play for Larjevellan Sweden in 1989. In his final two professional playing years, Russell competed for Winston-Salem of the East Coast Hockey League in 1990 and for Binghamton of the American Hockey League in 1990.
Russell and his wife, Linda have three sons, Ben, Charlie and Graeme.