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Jason Russell is in his first season as an assistant coach at UTSA.

"I'm extremely excited to have Jason join our staff," head coach Greg Sheen said when he announced Russell's hiring on April 19. "He brings with him a wealth of soccer knowledge and experience and he's going to be a very valuable asset to our program moving forward. Our players are going to love his enthusiasm and high level of expectation."

"I want to thank Coach Sheen for the opportunity to join his staff," Russell said. "He is extremely organized, knowledgeable and passionate about the game. I look forward to learning from him and assisting in rebuilding the program."

Russell comes to the Alamo City after spending the previous five seasons on the coaching staff at Vermont. He served as an assistant coach for his first four seasons before he was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2015 campaign.

During his time with the Catamounts, Russell helped guide the program to four America East Conference Tournaments, including a school-record run of three consecutive tournament appearances. The program made just four league tournament appearances from 1996-2010 and when Vermont advanced to the semifinals in 2012, it was the first time the school had made it that far since 1998.

In addition, Russell assisted in the recruitment of 2013 America East Rookie of the Year Nikki McFarland. McFarland led the Catamounts to the America East quarterfinals with a team-best 14 points on six goals and two assists and she became just the second Vermont player ever to win the honor.

Prior to his time at Vermont, Russell spent the 2010 season as an assistant coach at Mercer where he helped lead the Bears to 10 wins, the program's first-ever Atlantic Sun Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth.

The Bears had a pair of players named first-team all-conference along with a second-team and all-freshman team honoree, while seven players earned Atlantic Sun All-Tournament laurels that season.

Russell also has coached at the club soccer level since 2006, when he started with the Tophat Soccer Club in Atlanta. He has spent time with the Macon [Ga.] Soccer Club, Vermont Olympic Development Program and Far Post Soccer Club in Burlington, Vt.

A standout player in his own right, Russell closed his collegiate career at Georgia Southern with 30 goals and 30 assists to rank second on the program's all-time points list. Those goals and assists totals rank third and second all-time, respectively, and Russell helped the Eagles rank as high as No. 13 in the country during his junior season.

He then played professionally in the United Soccer League and National Professional Soccer League. From 1999-2001, Russell was a member of the Milwaukee Wave, where he helped win a pair of NPSL Championships. He also led the Milwaukee Rampage to a USL A-League title in 2002 before stints with the Richmond Kickers and New Orleans Storm.

Russell graduated from Georgia Southern in 2004 with a degree in business administration.