Johnny Russell

Director of Student-Athlete Development

Johnny Russell

Directory of Student-Athlete Development

"The stress and strain on today's student-athletes are at an all-time high. To add value and engage with student-athletes and support your coaching staff and administration, I am excited to announce that Johnny Russell is joining Kingdom Coaching as our Director of Student-Athlete Development."
Johnny Headshot
Johnny holds an MFA in Theatre from Penn State University and a BA in Communication Arts from Malone University. He spent two decades traveling across the country as well as internationally as a sought-after performer and teacher. His own leadership journey has taken him from co-founding two successful theatre companies, to spending half a decade serving in leadership for a multimillion-dollar company, and finally back to his first love as a high-school baseball coach. In addition, he served for over a decade as an adjunct professor with multiple universities.
Through his extensive experience, Johnny has developed an ability to engage with today's student-athlete in unique and innovative ways and bring to life the topics that matter most to them.

what others are saying about Johnny

“Johnny Russell is a gifted teacher. He is warm, alert, compassionate, direct, and resourceful – much like his acting. He is rooted in clear and effective technique but responds intuitively to each individual ... in order to liberate deep engaging work. He is also a terrific human being, full of curiosity and humor. Rest assured, if you work with Johnny you are in good hands.” Mark Olsen – The Julliard School of Drama

“Johnny was quite simply one of the best young teachers I came across in my twenty years at Penn State. He is extremely talented with a superb sense of humor. His performances are compelling and highly nuanced. I find Johnny to be a hardworking team player, always prepared, always positive, and unfailingly professional. I trust him completely.” Jane Ridley - Penn State University (retired)

“Johnny is one of the most accomplished theater people I’ve worked with in the last few years.” Sheldon Patinkin – Chair Emeritus; Theatre Department, Columbia College; Artistic Consultant to Steppenwolf Theatre and Second City

“Johnny has a powerful presence in the classroom ... and his skill commands the attention of students. He is very invested, engaged, and thoughtful. He is able to go beyond the information and make insightful intellectual and emotional connections. He has a unique artistic instinct that enables him to see the world from diverse viewpoints and perspectives and I trust his artistic sensibilities implicitly.” Tammie McKenzie; Malone University 

“Johnny is a rare find – an educator whose knowledge, passion, and intensity are exceeded only by the joy he takes in imparting his love of his craft to others.  Johnny has studied with the best, possesses a voracious intellect, and gives sublime performances, yet he’s able to relate to students with varying levels of experience, aptitude, and interest without condescension.  Rather, he skillfully builds relationships and then develops a personalized instructional language with which to guide each of his charges. Should you have the opportunity to work with Johnny, I envy you your gain.” Craig Joseph; Seat of the Pants Productions

“Johnny’s thoughtful exploration of what it means to thrive at work and in life brings meaningful, transformational insight. Working with him would be excellent for your team.” William Matthews; Cooper Smith Integrated Media Solutions

Topics

Reclaiming Identity: Getting to the heart of mental health.
Starting from a place of identity, we aim to help students be proactive with their mental health journey.

Character Branding: Telling a purposeful story through an authentic life and intentional social presence.
Branding is an important aspect of a student-athlete's journey and we aim to help them tell their story in a healthy and authentic way.

Transcendent Leadership: Uncovering your unique influence in order to positively affect the locker room and beyond.
Leadership is often defined as influence. We aim to help people understand who they are and how that informs and shapes their leadership in the locker room, on campus, and in their future professional life.