Anyone who has worked with the public—in education, in hospitals or social programs— will appreciate selfless people like RUSSELL SCOFFIN who step forward to volunteer their time and talent for projects they believe in. Today, Russ Scoffin is Southwestern College Athletic Department’s Volunteer Photographer who has taken thousands of photos of our intercollegiate teams, helping to drive our web page to recruit potential athletes as well as to celebrate and document the passion and skills of our student-athletes—at no cost to the athletic program or its athletes.
Russ attended Hoover High School in San Diego from 1957 to 1959 where he participated in football and lettered all three years in track and field. He attended San Diego State University from 1960 to 1961 before going to work for the Zellerbach Paper Company in National City from 1962 until 1985 and serving as the manager of the Los Angeles Division.
In the mid-1980’s while living in Orange County, Russ began volunteer work at the California Men’s Colony in Norco, California. When he relocated to the San Diego area in
the late 1980’s, he joined with the Director of the M2 Program (Match 2) in San Diego as a volunteer, and he spent the last six years of his involvement with the program assigned to the R. J. Donovan Prison on Otay Mesa.
Russ took an Administration of Justice class at Southwestern and met the instructor and the current warden of the Donovan Prison, John Ratelle, sharing with him his work in the M2 program. Russ, with help from Ratelle, conceived a program where the M2 group provided Christmas and Mother’s Daypictures of the inmates to their families. This program lasted five years and was highly praised by Ratelle, who called it “One of the best morale building programs the prison had.” As a result of its success, President George H. Bush awarded Russ a celebrated 1991 Point of Light Volunteer Award.
Always an enthusiastic volunteer, Russ found his way to the office of equally enthusiastic Dr. Max Branscomb, advisor to Southwestern College’s nationally recognized college newspaper, The Sun.
After retiring from his “day job,” he began serving as the sports photographer for the paper. Theoutstanding quality of Russ’ work was rewarded in 2006 and 2009 when he captured First Place in the West Coast Division for Collegiate Sports Photography in a competition sponsored by The Society of Professional Journalists, defeating photojournalists from UC Berkeley, UCLA and SDSU. He also placed third in nationwide voting.
In 2008-09, Russ met with Dean Terry Davis and proposed using his photographic skills and the new college website to showcase the athletic successes of Southwestern College’s intercollegiate teams. When he told Dean Davis that he didn’t want to be paid, the deal wasdone! Today, Russ covers home and away football games and the home games of the remaining women’s and men’s teams. After the games are over, Russ posts the photos on the college athletic website, free to everyone!
Russ’ home team cheering section includes his wife, Brenda, six children, 11 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Russell Scoffin, in recognition of your countless volunteer hours and your continued support of the Jaguars’ intercollegiate athletic program and its student-athletes, it is an extreme honor to welcome you into the 2018 Southwestern College Athletic Hall of Fame.