Huntsville’s Mark Russell named AHSAA State Official of the Year

Mark Russell
Mark Russell, who heads up the Huntsville Sports Commission, was named the state’s top sports official. (Huntsville Sports Commission)

Most people around Huntsville know Mark Russell from his roles serving the City of Huntsville — as a former member of the Huntsville City Council or in his current role as the head of the Huntsville Sports Commission. But his other hat he wears — a high school sports official — has landed him a pretty big honor.

Russell was recently named the State Official of The Year by the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA).

Mark Russell honored by the AHSAA

Mark Russell
Mark Russell has been a high school football referee for more than 20 years. (Huntsville Sports Commission)

Mark Russell is a veteran football official with a commendable track record spanning over 26 years. This award demonstrates his unwavering dedication to upholding the most excellent standards of honesty, competence and professionalism.

And let’s face it, this is by no means an easy job. Anyone willing to endure what sports officials have to go through while performing their service is a special breed of person. And Russell has been doing it longer than the players he is officiating have been alive.

“Mark has proven to be one of the best football officials to ever work for the AHSAA. He has worked to be the best and continues to mentor other officials throughout the state to help them reach their potential. Mark’s integrity and commitment to excellence is a great example to every official in our state.”  

David Bell, AHSAA football coordinator of officials

Mark Russell wears many hats, so to speak

Mark Russell Center
Mark Russell has served the city in a number of ways. (Huntsville Sports Commission)

Russell was named director of the Huntsville Sports Commission in 2020, after serving as the Huntsville City Council District 2 representative, a position he held for 16 years (10 of which were spent as City Council President).

In 2019, the City of Huntsville named the recreation center on Taylor Road the Mark Russell Recreation Center to honor all of the work Russell has done for the city.

Also, Russell was recently appointed to the Alabama Sports Officials Foundation Board to serve a 4-year term.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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