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Mr. Andrew John Russo
Nickname: Andy
1965

Home:
3503 Forest City
Kingwood, TX 77339

Work:
Home Phone:
Work Phone:
Fax:
Email:
281-359-1731
713-705-9386
--
arussofactoryagt@aol.com
Andy's Living Memorial for Coach Shipley's Tribute was updated on Oct. 7, 2017. Andy had sent information for the 2001 Shipley Reunion and it is posted below his latest LM. Posted by Dr. Ed Dugas on Oct. 7, 2017

The way Coach Shipley coached us has impacted everyday of my life.

Besides being a tremendous coach, he taught his players the value of
persistence---never giving up, rationalization---never making excuses to
justify your mistakes or shortcomings and the importance of preparation.

While being a demanding disciplinarian, he loved his players. Whether
you were a star or gathered splinters sitting on the bench, he always was there
to help his players during and after graduation.

I needed an extra year to get my degree because I transferred to USL. He
provided it. He gave me the opportunity to coach the freshman team and experience the
art of coaching a team. He invited me to be the "guest driver" of the car that transported he,
Moe Iba, Head Coach, Memphis State University and Guy Lewis, Head Coach, University
of Houston, while they were guest lecturers at summer camps across the nation. What an
experience for a young 22 year old high school coach to live with these coaches for over a
week and thousands of miles couped up in a 4-door sedan. Coach Shipley's influence helped
me land the best high school basketball coaching job in the state of Louisiana---St. Aloysius
which later became Brother Martin, both in my hometown of New Orleans. Later on it was
Jacksonville University. He had a hand in every coaching job I ever had. These are but a few
of the things that he did for me and my family.

We all know what an accomplished coach he was, but few fans know how much Coach
Shipley cared and did for his players after they used up all their eligibility. I am sure there
are many stories like these among the many players he coached. He loved his players and
I love him back.

RIP


Player 62-65 & Freshman Coach 65-66): Sometimes starter and sixth man. Honorable mention All Gulf Conference Coaches Selection. Coach Shipley offered me the opportunity to coach the freshman team. We finished the season with a 15-5 record.

Married Judy Stuart in 1970. Children include Rhett, who is an Aggie and now an architect in Manhattan. He also was a starter on the St. Thomas Moore 1986 State Championship basketball team. We now live in Kingwood, TX a suburb of Houston.

I was recruited by USL in 1962 by Coach Shipley. Two of my high school buddies were already at USL on football scholarships. Coach Ship would have Freddie Fredrickson and Cliff O'Neal call me daily. I committed.

Attended Fortier (New Orleans) high school 1956-59. Played on AAA State Championship Runner Up, 1959. Was a three-year starter, named All-State in 1959. Attended Central Florida Jr. College 1959-61. Lead the nation in junior college scoring and named Junior College All-American.

Would learn that if you wanted to play for Coach Ship, you had to play both ends of the floor. He motivated me by saying that I played Matador defense - "Come on bye, brother." Coach sure had a way with words.

While defense was not the strongest area of my game as a player, it would later become a trademark of our two Brother Martin State Championship Teams and the 36-0 National Championship team which later defeated Woodlawn High School lead by Boston Celtic great Robert Parish.

I consider myself fortunate to have played and studied the art of coaching under Coach Ship. He has always been there for his players. He allowed me to coach the freshman and get my degree. He got me my first coaching job at Class B Fatima High School. He picked up the phone and helped me get the best AAAA high school job in the state of Louisiana, Brother Martin. He invited me and my kids to work in his summer camps. He let me travel for a week in the same car with himself, Guy Lewis, University of Houston and Moe Iba, Memphis State University, while they worked the summer lecture circuit.

What an experience for a young first year high school coach! Later on in my career, he would help me get the assistant basketball coaching job at 1970 NCAA Final Four Runner-Up, Jacksonville University.

Graduated with a B.S. Degree in Education, 1965. Earned a Master of Education, Nicholls State University, 1973.

Named Head Basketball Coach, Fatima H.S., Lafayette, LA. (65-68) and advanced to Class B State Quarterfinals twice.

(68-73) Head Basketball Coach, Brother Martin H.S., New Orleans, LA. Won two AAAA State Championships. 1970 Team went 36-0 and was named National High School Champions after defeating Woodlawn H.S. lead by the "Chief" Robert Parish. Teams went to the Top 20 Tournament five straight years.

(73-78) Assistant Basketball Coach, at 1970 NCAA Final Four Runner-Up Jacksonville University. Made two NCAA tournament appearances and one N.I.T.

(78) Entered the real world of work as a manufacturer's representative to the foodservice equipment and refrigeration industry.

Promoted to VP, Sales & Marketing, Frigidare Commercial Products Division. Today, I own and operate Factory Agents, Inc., a manufacturer's representative firm, with offices and a warehouse in Houston and Dallas. We represent 10 manufacturers of foodservice equipment and refrigeration in TX, OK, AR, and LA.

While Shipley's coaching accomplishments will be long remembered, his fans and friends may never know how many young men he helped and positively influenced during his career. And now, he keeps giving back with his "Mended Hearts Scholarship."

Thank you Coach for a wonderful ride.

* * * * *

Please copy and paste http://www.brothermartin.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/SportsHistory/basketball7.htm
for a wonderful history of Andy's teams at Brother Martin - compiled by Neal Golden at http://goldenrankings.com/basketballsnapshots10.htm#shipley
* * * * * posted Feb.9, 2013


Basketball- (M):  1962, 1963, 1964, 1965
Coaches:  1965, 1966