A multiple-time coach of champions, Russ has worked hard to ensure that he is also a coach of character. In 11 years at Vanguard University, his teams have won eight Golden State Athletic Conference championships, including the last five. He has also embraced the NAIA’s Champions of Character core values: respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship. In order to help his players succeed in academics and athletics, Russ’s stated goal is to implement at least one of those five core values daily in his coaching method and development of his team. It is his belief that sports can provide young athletes with the depth of character necessary to become people of integrity. Proof of his success can be seen in the great number of his players who have become leaders in the community, including Kelly Schmidt, the 2007 Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award winner. Russ helps young athletes outside of his coaching responsibilities as well, serving as a Champions of Character instructor for the Vanguard University Program Center, which provides character education and outreach throughout Southern California. He also serves as the co-director of BAM (Beyond Athletics Ministry), a ministry group made up of athletes from various sports on the Vanguard campus. The 2005 WBCA National Coach of the Year, Russ has a record of 538-188 in his 26-year coaching career, including a 31-1 mark in 2007. He has led Vanguard to nine NAIA Tournament berths and guided the Lions to the NAIA semifinals in 2006 and 2007.
Russ Davis is the recipient of the 2007 NAIA Coach of Character Award.