The Denver Broncos on Thursday hired Matt Russell as director of college scouting, it was announced.
Russell, who was a first-team All-American and Butkus Award winner (nation's best linebacker) at the University of Colorado in 1996, owns seven years of scouting experience in the NFL with Philadelphia (2006-08) and New England (2001, '03-05). He is responsible for leading the Broncos' college scouting efforts and will oversee the club's regional scouts.
Russell spent the 2008 season as the national scout for the Eagles after scouting the Western region for the club from 2006-07. Philadelphia earned playoff berths during two of Russell's three seasons on its staff, including the 2008 campaign when the Eagles advanced to the NFC Championship Game.
Hired by the Patriots as a pro scout in December 2000, Russell served in that capacity for the club during its Super Bowl XXXVI-winning season in 2001 and worked as an area scout for the team from 2003-05. New England won consecutive Super Bowls (XXXVIII in 2003 and XXXIX in '04) with Russell on staff during that time, and its 45-11 (.804) overall record from 2003-05 was the best mark in the NFL.
A four-year starter at Colorado from 1993-96, Russell finished his collegiate career ranked first in school history in unassisted tackles (282) and second in total tackles (446). He received all-conference honors during each of his final two seasons with the Buffaloes, including his senior campaign in which he was a consensus first-team All-American and received the Butkus Award after posting a career-high 137 tackles.
Selected by Detroit in the fourth round (130th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft, Russell earned All-Rookie honors before knee injuries forced him to retire in 2000. The 35-year-old spent the 2000 season as a graduate assistant coach for Colorado before beginning his scouting career.
Russell grew up in Fairview Heights, Ill., and attended Belleville East High School in Belleville, Ill. He was born on July 5, 1973, in Tokyo.