Missouri Valley College Hall of Fame
Class of 1996
Russ, a product of Sweet Springs High School, graduated from Missouri Valley College in 1953. Russ was an outstanding basketball player, leading Missouri Valley College to a conference championship his senior year.
Russ played five seasons of minor league baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization before entering the teaching profession in Sedalia. As the head baseball coach at Smith-Cotton High School, Russ led his teams to 3rd and 4th place state finishes.
Russ eventually left the education and coaching to enter the insurance business, becoming on of State Farm’s top agents in Missouri. Russ was promoted to management and spent the next 15 years in Overland Park, KS.
In 1971, Gilmore returned to his roots, buying a farm in rural Sweet Springs, while starting a used car business.
Russ enjoys officiating basketball at the high school and collegiate levels over a five-state area. The highlight of his officiating career was a 10-year service with the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City.
Russ has two sons, two daughters, and eight grandchildren.