Craig Russell is in his fifth year as head men’s ice hockey coach at Plymouth State in 2014-15, and his 16th year with the Panther hockey program. He played four seasons in a Panther uniform, served five years as assistant coach, two as associate head coach, and in 2010 became the eighth head coach in the program’s history.
Russell has enjoyed very successful campaigns in his first four years as head coach, capturing at least a share of the past three MASCAC regular season titles. He guided the 2011-12 Panthers to the MASCAC regular season and tournament championships, the first championship in the 40-year history of the program and the school's first berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The Panthers repeated the MASCAC regular season title in 2013 and earned a share of the crown last year, advancing to the conference tournament title game each season.
Russell was rewarded after PSU’s championship seasons, earning MASCAC Coach of the Year honors for both 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. Five of the six players on the All-Conference First Team were from PSU in 2012-13, with an additional Panther named to the Second Team.
A 2003 graduate of Plymouth State, Russell played four years on the hockey team, serving as assistant captain as a senior. He was an on-ice and bench assistant coach for seven years as well as chief recruiter.
A native of Northfield, Vt., Russell joined the Panther staff as an assistant in 2003, and was elevated to associate head coach in 2008. Russell helped lead the Panthers to an 86-80-12 record as an assistant coach under coach Brett Tryder, with four post-season berths (three ECAC, one MASCAC).