Russ Purnell

Russ Purnell (born June 12, 1948) is an American football coach. He has served for 26 seasons as an assistant coach in the NFL, mainly coordinating the special teams units. He is one of only 21 NFL assistant coaches who have won at least one Super Bowl championship with two different teams (Baltimore and Indianapolis). He was also the special teams coordinator for the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League (UFL).

Russ Purnell
Position:Special Teams Coach
Personal information
Born:June 12, 1948 (age 70)
Chicago, Illinois
Career information
Career history
As coach:
Career highlights and awards

Playing career

Purnell played center at Orange Coast College and transferred to Whittier College, where he graduated with a business degree and served as a graduate assistant from 1970–71.

Coaching career

Purnell began his coaching career at Corona del Mar High School in 1972 and coached at Edison High School (Huntington Beach, California) from 1973–81. He joined the University of Southern California staff as special teams and tight ends coach from 1982–85.

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

Purnell spent three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens as special teams coordinator from 1999–2001. Under Purnell’s leadership, kicker Matt Stover made the Pro Bowl in 2000, while kick returner Jermaine Lewis was tabbed for the honor in 2001. Stover connected on 93 of 107 field goals from 1999–2001, an 86.9% conversation rate. Lewis had an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Super Bowl XXXV win against the New York Giants. Punter Kyle Richardson led the NFL in punts inside the 20 in 1999 and 2000. Baltimore led the NFL with a 14.8-yard punt return average in 2000, while Lewis (36-16.1 avg.) had the highest seasonal average for any player with 30-plus returns in NFL history and had two returns for touchdowns against the New York Jets.

Purnell served as special teams coach for the Indianapolis Colts under Tony Dungy from 2002–08. Under Purnell’s guidance, kicker Mike Vanderjagt (217/248, 87.5 pct.) became the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history, and he set the NFL record with 42 consecutive field goals from 2002–04. In hitting all 37 field goal attempts in 2003, Vanderjagt posted only the fourth perfect season in NFL history, while earning his first Pro Bowl bid. Vanderjagt earned the Pro Football Weekly Golden Toe Award, the third time in Purnell’s career he tutored the award’s winner (Rick Tuten, Seattle, 1994; Stover, Baltimore, 2000). The Colts kickoff return unit ranked 8th in the NFL in 2004 and in 2005 the team’s coverage units ranked 5th in kickoff return average and seventh in punt return average. In 2006, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri hit 25 of 28 field goals and all 38 PATs for 113 points as the team's field goal percentage ranked in the top five in the NFL. Terrence Wilkins served as the punt and kick returner for the Colts in 2006 and turned in an 82-yard punt return. In 2007, T. J. Rushing tied the franchise record with a 90-yard punt return touchdown. In 2008, Vinatieri connected on 20 of 25 field goals and produced a 13th consecutive 100-plus point season. Punter Hunter Smith recorded 23 punts inside the 20 out of his 53 punts.

Purnell joined the Carolina Panthers on May 5, 2015, as assistant special teams coordinator when special teams coordinator Bruce DeHaven took a leave of absence.[1]

In the 2015 season, Purnell and the Panthers reached Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016. The Panthers fell to the Denver Broncos by a score of 24–10.[2]

Special teams Pro Bowlers coached


  1. ^ "DeHaven takes medical leave of absence". May 5, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  2. ^ "Super Bowl 50 - Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers - February 7th, 2016". Retrieved August 7, 2017.
1987 Seattle Seahawks season

The 1987 Seattle Seahawks season was the team's 12th season with the National Football League. After two seasons of missing the post season, the Seahawks returned to the playoffs.

The 1987 season would be Kenny Easley's last due to a kidney failure caused from an aspirin overdose, which forced him into retirement. The Seahawks selected Brian Bosworth from the University of Oklahoma, who signed the biggest rookie contract in NFL history.

1988 Seattle Seahawks season

The 1988 Seattle Seahawks season was the team's 13th season with the National Football League. The Seahawks won its first Division title in the AFC West for the first time in franchise history. Despite only winning the division with a 9-7 record, and only finishing with a +10 point differential, the Seahawks were still one of the most successful teams in the NFL in 1988. The team never went under .500 during the season, and clinched the AFC West in week 17 with a 43-37 shootout win over the Los Angeles Raiders with some help from their win the previous week against the Broncos, who finished second in the AFC West. The Seahawks were awarded the #3 seed in the AFC Playoffs. In the playoffs, they lost, 21-13 in Cincinnati to the Bengals.

1989 Seattle Seahawks season

The 1989 Seattle Seahawks season was the team's 14th season with the National Football League. The season marked the end of an era for the team, as the last original Seahawk remaining, wide receiver Steve Largent, retired after the season as the NFL's all-time reception leader up to that time.

1990 Seattle Seahawks season

The 1990 Seattle Seahawks season was the team's 15th season with the National Football League. The team improved on its 7-9 record from 1989, finishing 9-7. Despite the winning record, the Seahawks missed the postseason. Seattle would start the season 0-3 before abandoning the Run and Shoot Offense installed before the season and returning to the “Ground Chuck” Offense. Upon becoming a “run first” offense once again Running Back Derrick Fenner led the AFC in Rushing and Total Touchdowns with 14 (tied with Los Angeles Rams Running Back Cleveland Gary) and finishing second in the NFL in Total Touchdowns (leading the AFC in that category) with 15 (one behind Detroit Lions Running Back Barry Sanders 16 Total Touchdowns) The return to “Ground Chuck” led to them upsetting the Cincinnati Bengals at home on Monday Night Football 31-16 to pick up their first win of the season. After they traded wins and losses in their next 5 games, Seattle would win 3 straight to sit at 7-6. However, a loss to the Dolphins in Miami hurt the Seahawks hopes for a playoff berth. They won their final 2 games of the season against the Broncos and Lions to finish at 9-7 but were eliminated after the Houston Oilers (led by backup QB Cody Carlson subbing for an injured Warren Moon) defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers on the final Sunday Night Football game of 1990 due to conference record tiebreakers. The Oilers win sent Houston and the Cincinnati Bengals to the playoffs while a Pittsburgh win would’ve sent the Seahawks and Steelers to the postseason. This was the closest Seattle came to returning to the playoffs until missing them by a game in 1998 and was the last winning season by a Seattle team until their 1999 AFC West Championship team that also finished 9-7. Seattle Would bottom out at 2-14 two seasons later before becoming known as an also ran for the better part of the rest of the decade known by some players and fans as the “Forever 8 and 8 Era” where Seattle finished at or a game below .500 throughout Dennis Erickson's tenure.

This was the first Seahawks season without original member Steve Largent, who retired at the end of the previous season. This season is also notable for Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas sacking Seahawks quarterback Dave Krieg an NFL record 7 times in a single game. Despite this the Seahawks managed to pull out the win when Krieg broke free of what would have been another Thomas sack to throw the game winning touchdown to receiver Paul Skansi.

Seattle's 1990 NFL Draft is notable in that they not only acquired a future Pro-Football Hall of Famer in Cortez Kennedy but they grabbed multiple time ProBowl RB Chris Warren in the 4th Round. Warren would play in Seattle until the end of the 1997 Season becoming Seattle's All-Time Leading Rusher on his final carry as a Seahawk passing Seahawks Ring of Honor Member Curt Warner with 6,706 to Warner's 6,705 (since broken by Shaun Alexander's 9,429 Rushing Yards as a Seahawk.). As well as ProBowl Defensive Back Robert Blackmon and Defensive mainstay Terry Wooden. Next to the 1997 NFL Draft where the Seahawks netted HoFer Walter Jones and multiple time ProBowler Shawn Springs and the 2012 NFL Draft where Seattle acquired Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson this is considered one of best drafts in Seattle history in terms of leaguewide impact players and career honors and accolades. Kennedy would become the first player drafted by the Seahawks to make the Hall of Fame as Steve Largent was taken by the Houston Oilers in the 1976 NFL Draft never playing a down for them before joining Seattle in its Expansion Season of 1976.

1991 Seattle Seahawks season

The 1991 Seattle Seahawks season was the team's 16th season with the National Football League. The 1991 season was the last season for head coach Chuck Knox, who left to become Head Coach of the Los Angeles Rams while President and General Manager Tom Flores replaced him.

1992 Seattle Seahawks season

The 1992 Seattle Seahawks season was the team's 17th season with the National Football League. The 1992 season was the first of three seasons in Seattle for head coach Tom Flores. The Seahawks' 0.125 winning percentage in 1992 remains the worst in franchise history.

The Seahawks' 140 points (8.8 points per game) scored in the regular season is the lowest total for any team playing a 16-game season. For comparison, the 2008 Detroit Lions, who went winless, scored 268 points, nearly double. Long-time quarterback Dave Krieg had left Seattle for the rival Kansas City Chiefs in the offseason, leaving Seattle with Kelly Stouffer, Stan Gelbaugh and Dan McGwire (brother of Major League Baseball star Mark McGwire) as their three quarterbacks.

Football Outsiders calls Seattle's 1992 offense "the worst offense in (their ranking system's) history." Seattle's 1,778 passing yards are the fewest in a season by any team during the 1990s. Seattle was so inept that from the first game of the season until their Week 13 overtime win over Denver, they collectively had fewer points scored than punts attempted; for the entire season, the team finished with only slightly more points than punts. The team failed to score more than 17 points in a single game.

Despite their historically inept offense, Football Outsiders also ranked Seattle as having the third-best defense in 1992, making them the most imbalanced team ever measured. The Seahawks' star defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy was named the 1992 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Seattle gave up the fourth-fewest passing yards (2,661), and tied for fewest passing touchdowns allowed (11) of any team in 1992.

Before Seattle's Monday Night Football victory over Denver in the Kingdome the Seahawks honored Pete Gross inducting him as the first member of the Ring of Honor. Gross would die two days later after his long bout with cancer. That game would also be the last MNF game played in the Kingdome and the last in Seattle until 2002 (the Seahawks themselves didn't appear on MNF again until Mike Holmgren's return to Green Bay in 1999).

1993 Seattle Seahawks season

The 1993 Seattle Seahawks season was the team's 18th in the National Football League (NFL). Playing under head coach and general manager Tom Flores, the team finished with a 6–10 win–loss record in the American Football Conference (AFC) West and missed the playoffs for the fifth straight season. In the first round of the 1993 NFL Draft, Seattle selected quarterback Rick Mirer, who became their starter for the 1993 season.

At the end of the season, running back Chris Warren, defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, and safety Eugene Robinson were selected to play for the AFC in the 1994 Pro Bowl, the NFL's honorary all-star game.

1994 Seattle Seahawks season

The 1994 Seattle Seahawks season was the team's 19th season with the National Football League. The 1994 season was head coach Tom Flores' last with the team. The team played their two preseason and first three regular season home games at Husky Stadium due to the collapse of four ceiling tiles at the Kingdome on July 19.

1995 Houston Oilers season

The 1995 Houston Oilers season was the 36th season overall and 26th with the National Football League (NFL). The team bested their previous season’s output of 2–14, winning seven games, but failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

The Oilers draft Quarterback Steve McNair with the third overall draft pick. However, McNair would start the season on the bench behind free agent signee Chris Chandler. Chandler would play solid football as the Oilers showed improvement in their first full year under Jeff Fisher finishing with a 7-9 record. However, the story of the season came on November 16th when Bud Adams announced plans to move the team to Nashville when the lease at the Astrodome expired in 1998. The Oilers were the debut opponent of expansion team the Jacksonville Jaguars, just as they had been with the previous NFL expansion and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976.

1996 Houston Oilers season

The 1996 Houston Oilers season was the 37th season overall and 27th with the National Football League (NFL) and their final season in Houston. The team bested their previous season's output of 7–9, but failed to qualify for the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The Oilers only won two out of their eight games at home. However, on the road they won six out of eight games as the Oilers finish with an 8-8 record. Houston running back Eddie George won the Offensive Rookie of the Year with 1,368 yards rushing.

The Oilers had already established itself as a lame duck franchise; the league had approved the team's relocation to Nashville, Tennessee a year ahead of schedule, although it was not originally scheduled to take place until 1998. With the team having given up on Houston, the city responded in kind: fan support and attendance dropped to negligible levels for the 1996 season, the team's radio network was all but disbanded, and the local broadcasts were being cut off in favor of preseason NBA basketball. The Oilers, unwilling to continue in Houston after such a debacle, quickly moved to Memphis, Tennessee's Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in 1997, becoming the Tennessee Oilers (Memphis, too, would reject the "temporary" housing of the Oilers, forcing the team to move to Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville until the new Nashville stadium was finished in 1999).

1997 Tennessee Oilers season

The 1997 Tennessee Oilers season was their 38th season overall and their 28th in the National Football League (The NFL). The Oilers finished the season with 8 wins and 8 losses, and did not qualify for the playoffs. The head coach was Jeff Fisher, and the team played their home games at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis. The 1997 season was the first season that the team was known as the Tennessee Oilers, following their move from Houston. In their first game in their new city, they defeated the Oakland Raiders 24-21. However, after the win, the Oilers would struggle, as they lost their next 4 games and could not recover.

1998 Tennessee Oilers season

The 1998 Tennessee Oilers season was the franchise's 39th season overall, 29th with the National Football League (NFL), and their final season as the Oilers; they would be renamed the Titans the following year.

The team matched their previous season's output of 8–8, marking their third straight season with exactly eight wins. The Oilers failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year.

The 1998 season was the only year the Oilers would play in Vanderbilt Stadium, an undersized stadium that was used as a temporary stopgap until the team's new permanent stadium could be constructed. The Oilers, who had originally intended to stay in Houston until the stadium was finished, were forced out of Houston due to poor attendance in 1996, and were again forced out of their "Plan B," Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, after attendance was even worse there in 1997.

1999 Baltimore Ravens season

The 1999 Baltimore Ravens season was the team's fourth year in the National Football League (NFL). The team won 8 games and lost 8 games, missing the playoffs. Then they played tough against the top division rival Jacksonville Jaguars and then trounced the eventual AFC Champion Tennessee Titans and finish the season strong with an 8–8 record. This is also Brian Billick's first season as head coach of the Ravens after Ted Marchibroda retired after the 1998 season.

2001 Baltimore Ravens season

The 2001 Baltimore Ravens season was the franchise’s sixth season in the National Football League (NFL) and the third under head coach Brian Billick.

Fresh off their victory trip from Super Bowl XXXV, bad news struck the 2001 Ravens as running back Jamal Lewis suffered a knee injury in training camp and would miss the entire season. This weakened the Ravens’ running game and defense, and they also failed to equal their 12–4 record from 2000, instead going 10–6 but eventually reaching the postseason for the second consecutive year.

They easily shut down the Miami Dolphins, 20–3 in the Wild Card Round, but were unable to stop the 13–3 Pittsburgh Steelers, in the next round, due to a series of turnovers and penalties.

2012 Omaha Nighthawks season

The 2012 Omaha Nighthawks season was the third and final season for the United Football League franchise.

Orange Coast College

Orange Coast College (OCC) is a public community college in Costa Mesa in Orange County, California. It was founded in 1947, with its first classes opening in the fall of 1948. It provides Associate of Art and Associate of Science degrees, certificates of achievement, and lower-division classes transferable to other colleges and universities. The school enrolls approximately 24,000 undergraduate students. In terms of population size, Orange Coast College is the third largest college in Orange County.

Wade Harman

Wade Harman (born October 1, 1963) is an American football coach who is the tight ends coach for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). Harman used to be the Assistant Offensive Line Coach for the Falcons working with veteran offensive line coach Mike Tice.Before being hired by the Falcons, Harman spent most of his career as a tight end coach for the Baltimore Ravens. He was fired on January 27, 2014. Harman began his NFL coaching career with the Minnesota Vikings. Until his dismissal, Harman was the longest tenured coach in the Baltimore Ravens organization, and the only coach remaining in the organization from the Super Bowl XXXV team.

Whittier College

Whittier College is a private liberal arts college in Whittier, California, United States. As of fall 2015, the college has approximately 1,725 enrolled (undergraduate and graduate) students.

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