After being inducted into the UW-Eau Claire Athletic Hall of Fame a year ago, 1954 Colfax graduate and football standout Russ Knutson presented his plaque from the university to Colfax High School during halftime of the Homecoming game Oct. 11.
Knutson rushed for over 1,000 yards his senior year for Colfax in the tough Middle Border Conference against teams like Menomonie, Hudson and New Richmond. After graduation, Russ played one year for Eau Claire before entering the Air Force. After his stint was over, he returned to Eau Claire and played in the 1959-61 seasons for the Bluegolds, leading the conference in rushing in 1961 and was named the team’s MVP. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry in his final three seasons which is still the second best average in school history. He was an All Conference selection for two years and was All State his senior year. He currently ranks 14th all time in rushing yards with 1,657 and is tied for 13th for the longest rushing touchdown of 71 yards. He rushed for 198 yards in a game against Milwaukee and in a game against Superior, Russ returned a punt for a 73 yard TD and a kickoff for 58 yards.
After working in the education field for 31 years, Russ is now retired and living in the Chetek area with his wife Ann.
“I am donating the plaque to my former high school in hopes it will be enjoyed by many and will serve as an inspiration for the young men and women of our school,” Russ said. (A more complete story of Russ’ career ran in the Nov. 14, 2012 Messenger).