Mt. Vernon High School Alumni

Mt. Vernon, Illinois (IL)

Alumni Stories

To view the rest of your Mt. Vernon High School Classmates you must first

Susan Kaufman Russ

Class of 1961

2005 Inductee Susan Russ

Susan Russ is truly a pioneer in women's athletics. Upon graduation and receiving her Master's degree from Murray State University, Russ entered into her coaching career while teaching at Memphis State University.
In the spring of 1969, she started the first women's track and cross-country program at the University.
At that time, before Title IX, there was no money for recruitment, so Russ posted signs all over campus to get girls to try out for that first team.

For no additional pay, Russ built and coached the team in a time before TSSAA had yet to sponsor girls' sports. Over 11 seasons, Russ coached the Memphis State women's track team to a second place finish in the Tennessee State Collegiate Track and Field Championships.
By the early 1970s, the Memphis State program was competitive at the national level and had several individuals qualify for cross-country nationals. In 1987, Russ was inducted into the Memphis State University Sports Hall of Fame.
For the last 26 years, Russ has coached at The Harpeth Hall School in Middle Tennessee. In her tenure, she has coached a total of 20 teams to state championships in track and field, team relays and cross-country (the most for any coach in the state of Tennessee). She has coached 12 teams to state track championships, six teams to state cross-country championships, and two teams to team relay championships for a total of 20 state titles.
In addition to her coaching responsibilities, Russ has served as Athletic Director for The Harpeth Hall School since 1986. She is now responsible for 17 teams in 11 sports in the Upper School and 15 teams in 10 sports in the Middle School.
Needless to say, many honors have come her way. Among the accolades, Coach Russ has been named NFICA Tennessee Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year (1995), Tennessee State Track Coach of the Year (1991, 1992, 2003), NFHS Sectional Coach of the Year (2003), Metro Cross Country Coach of the Year (10 times), Regional Cross Country Coach of the Year (8 times and Regional Track Coach of the Year (8 times).
Known for her progressive sports programs and her dedication to excellence, Susan Russ continues to pave the way for young women in sports.

Military Alumni

Military High School Alumni

Honoring Our Heroes

This area is dedicated to our alumni that have served or are serving in our armed forces!

Lost Class Rings

Have you lost your Mt. Vernon High School class ring? Have you found someone's class ring? Visit our Rams lost class ring page to search for your class ring or post information about a found ring.

Do you have a fun holiday story or a great family tradition? Share them with our fellow Mt. Vernon High School alumni! Submit your own stories, achievements and photos in our Alumni Stories section. Read other classmate’s stories and see what they have been up to over the years.

Happy Holidays!