Here is the press release from Mizzou Athletics:
Ryan Russell and Brett Whiteside, who have nearly 20 years of combined professional experience working with Southeastern Conference football programs, have been named to newly-created positions on the Mizzou Football staff, Tigers’ head coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced Tuesday.
Russell, who served as Auburn’s director of strength and conditioning for football under highly-successful head coach Gus Malzahn, will serve as Mizzou’s Director of Performance, while Whiteside, who was Malzahn’s Director of Football Operations from 2013 until joining the Mizzou staff, will be the Tigers’ Chief Recruiting Officer.
“Ryan Russell and Brett Whiteside are two of the most-respected individuals within their respective areas in all of college football, and I am thrilled that they are joining our staff,” Drinkwitz said. “Having worked in the SEC for nearly two decades, they know what it takes to compete and win at the highest level in this conference, and they will make an immediate impact in every area of our program.”
With Russell on staff, the football programs he has worked with have combined to win one national championship (Auburn, 2011 BCS National Champions), six conference titles and play in 20 bowl games. In his new position at Mizzou, he will provide leadership and administrative oversight of all areas with the football program that directly impact the Tigers’ development on the field, including the areas of nutrition, strength and conditioning, equipment and athletic medicine.
Russell originally joined Malzahn’s Arkansas State staff in 2012 as director of athletic performance, then returned to Auburn for his third tour of duty in 2013 as the Tigers’ director of strength and conditioning for Auburn football from 2013-2020.
From 2010-11, Russell served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Auburn, working with the football program, before moving to Arkansas State. He was also football’s director of sports nutrition. Russell was an associate strength and conditioning coach for the Boise State football program from 2007-09. He served professional internships as a strength and conditioning coach at Pitt (2005) and Louisville (2004-05) before originally joining the Auburn staff as a graduate assistant coach in 2005-06.
Russell played professional football in the Arena Football League for the Las Vegas Gladiators and the Louisville Fire in 2003. A three-time all-conference wide receiver at West Liberty State from 2000-02, he earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 2003. Russell received his master’s degree in adult education from Auburn in December 2006 and his doctorate in May 2020 from University of Western States in Sport and Performance psychology. He holds a number of professional certifications, including CSCS, SCCC, SNC, USAW Level 1 and FMS.
The Palm Springs, Calif., native met his wife, the former Sarah Porter, during his first stint at Auburn.
Like Russell, Whiteside joined the Mizzou staff from Auburn, where he had worked since 2013, first as Director of Recruiting Operations, before serving as the program’s Director of Football Operations. At Auburn, he was responsible for budget oversight, team scheduling, team travel and day-to-day operations. He also served as the liaison to Auburn’s athletics administration, Tigers Unlimited, business office, compliance, media relations and University departments.
At Mizzou, Whiteside will provide leadership and oversight of Mizzou’s recruiting operations while serving as the program’s liaison to several athletics and University areas.
Whiteside served as Director of Player Personnel at Arkansas State in 2012, and broke into athletics administration as a student recruiting and operations assistant at Auburn from 2007-11. He graduated from Arkansas State in 2012 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies with emphasis on business, education and mathematics, then earned his master’s degree in administration of higher education from Auburn in August 2015. Whiteside is scheduled to complete a Ph.D. in administration of higher education from Auburn in May 2021.
A Southside, Ala., native, Whiteside is married to the former Natalie Slaten, and the couple has one son, Davis.