Honey Russell
Personal information
Born(1902-05-31)May 31, 1902
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
DiedNovember 15, 1973(1973-11-15) (aged 71)
Livingston, New Jersey, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High schoolAlexander Hamilton
(Brooklyn, New York)
Career history
As player:
1920–1921Plymouth Shawnees
1920–1922Easthampton Hampers
1921–1923Brooklyn Pros
1921–1922Mohawk Indians
1921–1923Albany Senators
1922–1923Northampton Hampers
1923–1924Yonkers Leaguers
1923–1925Cleveland Rosenblooms
1924–1925Original Celtics
1925–1927Cleveland Rosenblums
1925–1926Lou Gehrig All Stars
1926–1930Chicago Bruins
1928–1929Rochester Centrals
1930–1931Paterson Crescents
1930–1931Bridgeton Moose
1931–1933Brooklyn Americans
1932–1933Trenton Bengals
1932–1933Brooklyn Jewels
1933–1934Trenton Moose
1934–1935Newark / New Britain Mules
1935–1939New York Jewels
1937–1938New York Hakoah
1937–1938New York Kate Smith Celtics
1938–1940New York Yankees
1939–1940Wilkes-Barre Barons
1939–1940Washington Brewers
1942–1943Wilmington Clippers
1942–1944Camden / Brooklyn Indians
1944–1945New York Westchesters
1944–1945Jersey Reds
As coach:
1927–1930Chicago Bruins
1934–1935Newark / New Britain Mules
1936–1937New York Jewels
1936–1943Seton Hall
1937–1938New York Kate Smith Celtics
1939–1940Wilkes-Barre Barons
1942–1944Camden / Brooklyn Indians
1944–1945New York Westchesters
19461948Boston Celtics
1948–1950Schenectady Packers
1949–1960Seton Hall
Career highlights and awards
As player:
  • ABL champion (1926, 1939)
  • 4× ABL All-Star (1926–1929)

As coach:

Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

John David "Honey" Russell (May 31, 1902 – November 15, 1973) was an American basketball player and coach who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1964. He turned professional after his sophomore year of high school, and for the next 28 years he played for numerous early 20th century pro teams, including many in the American Basketball League. His career included over 3,200 pro games (a number that would take a modern NBA player 30–40 years to equal). He was the first coach of the NBA's Boston Celtics (1946–1948).[1]

Russell coached basketball at Seton Hall University from 1936 to 1943 and again from 1949 to 1960. His teams won 294 games and lost 137. In 1940 and 1941, Seton Hall ran its winning streak to 43 games, a national record at the time. The 1952–53 team won the National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City. That team won 31 games, including 27 in a row, while only losing 2 games.

Russell also was a scout in professional baseball, working for the Atlanta Braves, Montreal Expos and Chicago White Sox.[2] Of the many players he signed, 23 made it to the major leagues, including Joe and Frank Torre, Don McMahon, and Earl Williams.

Head coaching record


Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Seton Hall Pirates (Independent) (1936–1943)
1936–37 Seton Hall 5–10
1937–38 Seton Hall 10–8
1938–39 Seton Hall 15–7
1939–40 Seton Hall 19–0
1940–41 Seton Hall 20–2 NIT Third-place game
1941–42 Seton Hall 16–3
1942–43 Seton Hall 16–2
Manhattan Jaspers (Metropolitan New York Conference) (1945–1946)
1945–46 Manhattan 15–8 2–4 5th
Manhattan: 15–8 (.652) 2–4 (.333)
Seton Hall Pirates (Independent) (1949–1960)
1949–50 Seton Hall 11–15
1950–51 Seton Hall 24–7 NIT Third-place game
1951–52 Seton Hall 25–3 NIT First round
1952–53 Seton Hall 31–2 NIT Champions
1953–54 Seton Hall 13–10
1954–55 Seton Hall 17–9 NIT First round
1955–56 Seton Hall 20–5 NIT Quarterfinals
1956–57 Seton Hall 17–10 NIT First round
1957–58 Seton Hall 7–19
1958–59 Seton Hall 13–10
1959–60 Seton Hall 16–7
Seton Hall: 295–129 (.696)
Total: 310–137 (.694)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Boston 1946–47 60 22 38 .367 5th in Eastern Missed playoffs
Boston 1947–48 58 20 38 .345 3rd in Eastern 3 1 2 .333 Lost in Quarterfinals
Total 118 42 76 .356 3 1 2 .333


  1. ^ "Boston Celtics Coaches". CelticStats.com. Archived from the original on 2010-08-14. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
  2. ^ Associated Press, November 16, 1973