Russ Francis Married, Wife, Plane Crash, Death, Hawaii, Net Worth, Stats, College, Dies, Wrestling
Russ Francis Married, Wife, Plane Crash, Death, Hawaii, Net Worth, Stats, College, Dies, Wrestling – Russ Francis, a name synonymous with the world of sports, left an indelible mark as both an NFL player and a professional wrestler. Born in Seattle, Washington, Russ embarked on a journey that led him to football stardom, the wrestling ring, and eventually, a tragic plane crash. In this article, we delve into the extraordinary life of Russ Francis, tracing his early days, career highlights, and the events leading to his untimely demise on October 1, 2023.
Russ Francis Early Life and Education
Russ Francis began his life’s journey in the vibrant city of Seattle, Washington. However, his family moved to Oahu, Hawaii, when he was still a youngster. It was on the beautiful islands of Hawaii that he spent his formative years. Russ attended Kailua High School, where his athletic prowess began to shine. Among his many talents, javelin throwing stood out.
The move to Oregon came next, where Russ completed his high school education at Pleasant Hill High School. Here, he set a national record in 1971 for javelin throwing, with an impressive throw of 259 feet, 9 inches (79.17 meters). He didn’t limit himself to just one sport; he also excelled in decathlon and football.
|Name||Russell Ross Francis|
|Date of Birth||April 3, 1953|
|Birth Place||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
|Age (as of 2023)||70 (deceased)|
|Profession||Former NFL tight end and wrestler|
|Home Town/State||Oahu, Hawaii / Oregon|
|School||Kailua High School / Pleasant Hill High School|
|College||University of Oregon / Oregon State University|
|Hobbies||Javelin throwing, decathlon, radio hosting|
Russ’s journey continued as he enrolled at the University of Oregon, where he decided to pursue a football career with the Ducks. Unfortunately, he encountered an injury during his sophomore season, which hindered his progress. To ensure his eligibility for the NFL draft, Russ transferred to Oregon State University. This move marked a pivotal moment in his journey, as it set the stage for his future success, not only in football but also in professional wrestling.
Russ Francis Career
Russ Francis’s football journey began in earnest when he was drafted by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 1975 NFL draft as a tight end. He played for the Patriots from 1975 to 1980, and during this period, he achieved significant success. Russ earned three Pro Bowl selections and two All-Pro honors, establishing himself as a formidable force on the field.
However, his NFL career took a twist in 1980 when he retired due to a contract dispute with the Patriots. But retirement wasn’t the end for Russ Francis. In 1982, he made a comeback to the NFL, this time with the San Francisco 49ers. Playing for the 49ers from 1982 to 1987, he added another remarkable achievement to his resume—a Super Bowl ring in 1984.
Russ’s football journey came full circle when he rejoined the Patriots for one final season in 1987 before retiring for good. His NFL career stats were impressive, with 393 receptions for 5,262 yards and 40 touchdowns. Recognizing his contributions to the world of sports, he was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
Beyond the Gridiron
After leaving the world of professional football, Russ Francis found himself drawn to the wrestling ring. He transitioned into the world of professional wrestling and made his mark at WrestleMania 2’s battle royal event in 1986. His wrestling journey continued as he joined the American Wrestling Association (AWA) and the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA).
One notable achievement during his wrestling career was when he and his brother Billy Roy Francis held the NWA Hawaii Tag Team Championship title. Russ’s foray into wrestling showcased his versatility as an athlete and entertainer.
However, like all chapters in life, Russ eventually retired from wrestling in the early 1990s. His post-wrestling career took an unexpected turn as he became a radio host in New Hampshire and Wyoming. This shift demonstrated his ability to adapt and succeed in different fields.
The Tragic Plane Crash
On October 1, 2023, tragedy struck the life of Russ Francis. The afternoon skies over Lake Placid Airport, New York, turned grim as a Cessna 177 Cardinal encountered an unforeseen emergency shortly after takeoff. Despite the pilot’s desperate attempts to return to the airport, the plane crashed, claiming the lives of Russ Francis and pilot Richard McSpadden.
The incident sent shockwaves through the sports community and beyond. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) initiated an investigation to determine the root cause of this tragic accident.
Russ Francis Legacy
The passing of Russ Francis left a profound void in the NFL community and the world of sports as a whole. His prowess on the football field was matched by his success as a businessman. Notably, his recent venture into the Lake Placid Airways scenic tour business showcased his multifaceted personality and entrepreneurial spirit.
Russ’s legacy extends beyond his statistics and accolades. He was a symbol of determination, versatility, and the unwavering pursuit of excellence. His ability to excel in both football and professional wrestling is a testament to his exceptional talent and work ethic.
Russ Francis Social Media Accounts
Russ Francis’s life was a tapestry of accomplishments, marked by his journey from the football field to the wrestling ring and his later ventures as a radio host and entrepreneur. His untimely passing in the tragic plane crash serves as a reminder of life’s unpredictability and the importance of cherishing the moments we have.
As we reflect on Russ’s life, we remember not only the athlete and entertainer but also the individual who inspired many with his dedication and passion for what he loved. Russ Francis will forever be celebrated for his contributions to the world of sports, leaving an enduring legacy that transcends the boundaries of time and space.
Is Russ Francis in the Hall of Fame?
Yes, Russ Francis is in the Hall of Fame. He made 393 catches during his career, covering 5,262 yards and scoring 40 touchdowns. In 1993, he was honored by being inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall Of Fame. One of the highlights of his career was when he won the Super Bowl in 1984.
Was Russ Francis a pilot?
Yes, Russ Francis was a pilot. He was not only a famous athlete but also the president of Lake Placid Airways, which offers charter and scenic flights. He had a passion for flying and had been a pilot for nearly 50 years. He even ran a charter service in Hawaii, as mentioned on the airline’s website.
Where was Russ Francis from?
Russ Francis was born in Seattle, Washington. He attended the University of Oregon, where he played football for two seasons from 1972 to 1973. During his time there, he caught 39 passes, gained 588 yards, and scored four touchdowns.
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