Russell Royal enters his first season serving as Assistant Director of the Academic Center for Excellence at the University of Houston.
In this position, Royal works primarily with the women's basketball and soccer teams, assisting in athletics academic counseling and working with the student-athletes and staff on day-to-day academic concerns, such as tutoring, mentoring and monitoring academic progress.
Royal spent the last three years across campus at Houston working as an admissions counselor where he interacted with high school administrators, prospective students and their parents throughout the admissions process.
Prior to coming to the University of Houston, Royal served as a health and physical education teacher at Southern Wayne High School in Dudley, N.C., while also acting as the head boy's basketball coach.
Royal began his career acting as an admissions counselor at his alma mater, Mount Olive College, in Mount Olive, N.C., for five years, while also working as assistant coach for the men's basketball team.
Royal played two seasons as starting point guard at Bacone Junior College in Muskogee, Okla., before finishing out his career as the point guard at Mount Olive, where he earned all-conference honors both seasons.
Royal received his bachelor's degree in sports management from Mount Olive College in 2000 and earned a master's of education from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 2006.
Royal lives in Houston.