Starting his third season on the staff is former Cerritos player Eric Russell, who was a two-time 1st Team All-Conference selection from 2008-09 at free safety. During his time with the Falcons, Russell was named the team’s Most Outstanding Defensive Back two seasons in a row, while earned the team’s Most Valuable Player and Defensive Most Valuable Player awards as a sophomore. He was also voted the team’s Freshman of the Year in his first season.
In addition to being the team’s top player in the secondary, Russell was also the team’s top returner and returned a kickoff (85 yards vs. Chaffey) and punt (78 yards vs. El Camino) in 2009, while he finished his career with seven kickoff returns over 50 yards. He amassed 150 kickoff return yards against Palomar College as a freshman and recorded 129 kickoff return yards as a sophomore against Ventura. He helped the team advance to a post-season bowl game in both of his seasons.
After being heavily recruited, Russell then transferred to Middle Tennessee State University, where he was named 1st Team All-Sunbelt Conference as both a safety and kick returner. As a senior, he brought back 43 kickoffs for 892 yards and 15 punts for 143 yards, while he amassed 842 kickoff return yards, including a 97-yard touchdown as a junior, as well as 24 punt returns for 163 yards.
As a prep player at Gahr High, Russell was named 1st Team Press Telegram Dream Team, as well as the Area Most Valuable Player and 1st Team All-San Gabriel Valley League his senior season.
Russell, 29, graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. He and his wife Ena reside in Cerritos with their two children, Elijah, 6 and Eris, who was born May 5, 2018.