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St. Thomas Aquinas names alumnus, former Dolphin as athletic director

South Florida native Twan Rusell also was standout student-athlete at UM

FORT LAUDERDALE | St. Thomas Aquinas High School has hired St. Thomas and Miami Dolphins alumnus Twan Russell as the school’s next athletic director. Russell will replace legendary athletic director George Smith, who has been at St. Thomas for 49 years, and will retire at the end of the school year.

Russell is a South Florida native and was a standout student-athlete at St. Thomas. He went on to play for the Hurricanes at the University of Miami. He graduated from UM in 1996 with dual degrees in broadcast communications and criminology. In 2019, he also completed a master's degree in sports administration at UM.

Russell was a linebacker in the National Football League for seven seasons, spending time with the Washington Football Team (1997-99), the Miami Dolphins (2000-02), and the Atlanta Falcons (2003). He retired from playing in 2004.

Since 2005, Russell has worked with the Miami Dolphins as a director in the community outreach department. In this capacity, he was instrumental in shaping the Dolphins' numerous community outreach and development programs. He also chairs the board of the Russell Education Foundation, an institution he and his mother started 23 years ago which focuses on providing after-school education programs for local students.

Russell played for Smith and has maintained his strong relationship with him for nearly three decades, on both a personal and a professional level. “I believe I was indirectly prepared for this opportunity through my relationship with Coach Smith,” Russell said.

The Raiders believe he is ready as well. “I am exceptionally proud of Twan as a leader, a coach, and a person of faith. I am very confident that the St. Thomas Aquinas athletic program will continue to thrive with his guidance, commitment, and passion,” said Denise Aloma, St. Thomas’ principal.  

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