Russ Schoene (pronounced SHAY-nee), who worked the previous five years as an assistant coach at Bellevue Community College, was hired April 24, 2002 as an assistant coach on Lorenzo Romar's Husky staff. In his second season at Washington, he draws upon a wealth of collegiate and professional playing experience.
"I have known Russ for a number of years, since we played against each other in the NBA," says UW head coach Lorenzo Romar. "Russ is a very quality person. He worked the past five years as a volunteer coach, so that shows his great passion for the game of basketball. He has very solid ties to the Northwest and will be a tremendous resource to our program. Russ is also very adept at coaching post players."
A native of Trenton, Ill., Schoene was the Most valuable player on the Wesclin High School squad. He lettered three years in basketball and baseball.
Schoene attended Mineral Area Junior College in Park Hills, Mo. where he earned all-regional honors before transferring to the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. As a 6-10 forward, he helped to lead UTC to back-to-back Southern Conference Championships in 1981 and 1982. Schoene was named the conference tournament MVP as a senior and was also an All-Southern Conference first-team honoree.
Chattanooga defeated No. 7 seed North Carolina State 58-51 in the opening round of the 1982 tournaent. The Mocs battled No. 2 Minnesota before falling 62-61 in the second round despite Schoene's 20-point, 12-rebound performance.
He averaged 13.6 points and 7.0 rebouds as a senior in 1982 after averaging 7.2 points and 4.0 rebounds as a junior.
Schoene was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the 1982 NBA draft. He was traded by Philadelphia during his rookie season to Indiana and stayed on the Pacers' roster the following year, despite an injury that prevented him from playing during the season.
He spent the next two years playing in Italy and was named the Italian League MVP before returning to the NBA with the Seattle Sonics for the 1986-87 season. Schoene played three years in Seattle (1986-89) and then returned to Italy for the final five seasons of his professional career.
During four NBA seasons, he amassed 1,491 points (5.1 ppg) and 735 rebounds (2.5 rpg).
Along with several Seattle-area residents, he co-founded Samurai Sam's, a restaurant chain of nearly 50 stores in Arizona and Washington.
Schoene, 43, and his 9-year-old daughter, Makena, reside in Bellevue.