By, Pam Teel
In East Windsor, NJ, New Jersey Youth Soccer hosted the 31st An- nual NJYS Awards Dinner presented by RWJ Barnabas Health in February, where it celebrated with players, coaches and other mem- bers of the soccer community. A very special part of the evening was when NJ Youth Soccer honored Joe Russo with his official induction into the NJYS Hall of Fame.
“I am extremely humbled to be selected to the NJ Youth Soccer Hall of Fame,” said Russo of his induction. “When I look at all of the past and present honorees, I feel tremendously honored to be included.”
Russo has served as the head coach of the women’s soccer program at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) since its inception in 1990. Under his tutelage, TCNJ has captured three NCAA Division III National Championships, winning titles in 1993, 1994 and 2000. The Lions have earned their way into the NCAA Tournament on 28 consecu- tive occasions, leading the nation with 62 overall tournament wins.
This past fall, Russo became the fourth head coach in NCAA Women’s Soccer history to eclipse 500 victories, also becoming just the second Division III
head coach to reach the pivotal mark. During his time at CNJ, 40 of his players have received All America accolades, and the Lions as a team have claimed
17 of the
past 23 New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships.
A long-time coach in the New Jersey ODP system, Russo led the U-17 New Jersey Girls ODP Team to the US Youth Soccer Region 1 ODP Championship in 2010 and 2011. Additionally, many of his former players at the both the college and ODP levels have gone on to have successful collegiate and profes- sional careers.
“Joe has given so much to NJ Youth Soccer, ODP and soccer in our state,” said Evelyn Gill, NJYS President. “We could not be more honored to induct him into our Hall of Fame and celebrate his commitment and all of his accomplishments.”
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