This past summer, Jamie Russell had the chance to coach his alma mater’s hockey team, while former Red assistant Scott Garrow ironically faced the opposite opportunity — leave the university at which he used to play.
Both eventually accepted their offers, as Garrow was announced as a new men’s hockey assistant coach on June 4, replacing Russell, who had been a fixture on East Hill for four years. Russell accepted the head coaching position at his alma mater, Michigan Tech.
Russell was approached in May by Michigan Tech’s athletic director and later went for an interview. A few weeks later, he was named head coach.
Although Russell did have an enjoyable time on the Lynah bench, he admitted the chance to become his alma mater’s head coach was, “an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
“I couldn’t have seen myself leave Cornell for another assistant coach job,” Russell said. “I have strong feelings for the players … [my] experience in Cornell is something I’ll never forget.”
Head coach Mike Schafer ’86 had no hard feelings toward Russell’s departure and said that he “was extremely happy for him.”
“You get into the business for a lot of different reasons, but one of the goals is to eventually be the head coach,” Schafer said.
Russell helped recruit many of the current players, including senior forward Greg Hornby, who said that the departing coach was “a big part of our success.”
“I was a little disappointed [that he left], but it was the best thing for him,” Hornby said.
Garrow is not a stranger to Cornell, as he served as an assistant coach for the Red from 1995 to 1999, before moving to his own alma mater, Western Michigan. According to Schafer, after Russell announced his move, he discussed possible replacements with assistant coach Brent Brekke and Garrow was one of the first coaches considered.
“Mike gave me a call and asked if I’d be interested,” Garrow recalled. “It was a good move for [me]. It’s a chance to get back into the national spotlight.”
Garrow played an instrumental role in recruiting players including Stephen B