Once volunteer, now coach

Published 9:04 am Saturday, September 1, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Russell Bottley is a familiar face on the sidelines of sporting events for West Orange – Stark (WO-S). He volunteered for years before officially becoming a coach with the school district.

“This is my seventh year as a coach officially,” Bottley said. “I helped and volunteered for too many years to count.”

He grew up playing little league and all sports as his father introduced him to them.

“I love all the sports,” Bottley said. “The facts, the stats, the kids.”

He is a coach for wide receiver varsity, and boy’s and girl’s assistant track coach at the high school. In the spring, he will also coach the WO-S Fishing Team.

“We will start with small tournaments,” Bottley said.

He is familiar with fishing as it is one of his favorite pastimes when not coaching.

“I love bass fishing,” Bottley said. “My favorite spots are at Sam Rayburn and the Sabine right here.”

He is strictly catch and release when fishing although will occasionally keep a Redfish or two.

A two-time cancer survivor, he has a strong desire to give back to the community.

“When I was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer, I was stage four and had a 20-percent chance to live,” Bottley said. “Now I am cured. Cancer free.”

Bottley is also on the Orange County Long Term Recovery Board as Vice President and part of the Mardi Gras Krewe Krewe de Onyx.

“The Krewe is three years old,” Bottley said. “I joined because I want to give back to the community.”

The Krewe was recently at the City Wide Family day held at Navy Park City Park and was giving away backpacks and school supplies for school age children.

“While I do not have any kids of my own, I have a lot of kids,” Bottley said. “The kids are our future and an extension of you. I see myself in them and live vicariously through them.”