Ellington, Russell - Basketball, Football, 1980
Ellington was an All-State athlete in basketball and football from 1953-56 at Beach High School. After graduation, Ellington continued his athletic career at Morris Brown College in Atlanta. There, he was All-Conference in both sports for three years, earning All-American honors from the Pittsburgh Courier. In 1960, he went to play for the professional New York Giants of the National Football League as a free agent for a year.
The next year, Ellington launched a successful basketball coaching career at his alma mater, leading Beach High to five state championships. It was during this time that Ellington also received three Coach of the Year honors. In 1976, he moved to the college ranks and rebuilt the Savannah State College cage fortunes in rapid fashion. The Tigers went on to win the SIAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III Regionals in both 1978-79 and 1979-80 seasons. Ellington’s SSC teams achieved national ranking in 1980-81.