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Monday, December 29, 2008

Russ Johnson (Inducted 1987)

Russ Johnson  Biography from the Hall of Fame Sports Banquet, April 27, 1987.
 
      Mention the name Russ Johnson and the word boxing quickly comes to mind for local sports enthusiasts. For several years he has more than lived up to his "Upper Midwest Coach of the Year"  honor, one of many accolades bestowed on Johnson over the years.
      The 1944 graduate of Fergus High was also an excellent boxer himself, before he began coaching the sport. He had 56 career bouts as a 6-foot and 160-pounder, winning 51 and losing only five.
      He began as a volunteer boxing coach in 1957. Over the years Johnson has had 16 regional champs, four Upper Midwest champions, and one boxer who has advanced to the Olympic trials.
      Other boxing honors, in addition to the Upper Midwest Coach of the Year recognition, include Wahpeton Golden Gloves Man of the Year, and Coach of the Year (on three different occasions). He has also helped in the promotion of the Board of Directors for the Upper Midwest Golden Gloves/Minnesota ABF.
      While boxing is far and away his favorite sport, Johnson was also an excellent athlete in other areas. A proficient softball player, he was a left fielder when his team won the Fergus Falls city league championship in both 1955 and 1956. Another favorite sport is bowling with Johnson taking part in a regular league. As a golfer, he teamed with Dave Felcyn to win the Fergus Pot of Gold tourney in 1964.
      He is a board member of the Office of Equal Opportunity, New York Mills, is business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), is president of the Trade and Labor Association, and is a member of the Equal Rights Commission.
      Johnson has been an employee of Otter Tail Power for 42 years and presently works as Chief Operator at the company's Hoot Lake Plant east of Fergus Falls. He and his wife, Marie, have four children, Sandra, Beth, Marcella, and Christy, and eight grandchildren.
MN Motor Company Night at Otter Field 9/22/2017
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