BIRMINGHAM BRAVES 

MEET THE COACHES
Nate Russ
Coach Russ is originally from Florence, Alabama where he was a three sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball. He was a four year starter in baseball where he compiled a pitching record of 30-3, and going 13-1 his senior year. He also currently ranks 14th on the AHSAA state records page for career batting average hitting .463, and tied for 2nd in homeruns in a single inning with 2. During his senior season, Coach Russ led his team to a 31-8  record winning the 2004 3A Alabama State Championship, and also took home the following individual accolades: 3A State Player of the Year, All State First Team, All Super 12 Alabama, All Area First Team, Times Daily Player of the Year and MVP of the 2004 State Finals Series. Coach Russ played 2 years of junior college baseball at Northwest Shoals and compiled a 12-3 record, and earning the game 1 starter role as a freshman. After signing at the University of Montevallo, he served several roles including game 1 weekend conference starter in the first year before moving to the closing role late in the season. Over his career at Montevallo, he maintained below a 3.00 ERA and was rewarded with the 2008 All Gulf South Tournament Team Award. Coach Russ went on and signed with the Atlanta Braves in Spring 2010 and worked as the setup man and eventual closer. During his first season, he was promoted within the first month of play. He led the Danville Braves pitching staff in ERA, and only allowed 1 earned while throwing there. He played with  the likes of current major leaguers Evan Gattis, Adrelton Simmons, Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy, Julio Teheran and more. Since stepping away from playing, Coach Russ has spent time at Alabama Baseball Academy before starting the Birmingham Braves program in the fall of 2013. He and his wife Tami currently reside in Birmingham, AL.
Tanner Ellison
Coach Ellison is originally from Pelham, Alabama where he played under current Mississippi State University softball coach Alan Reach in 2002 and 2003. He then moved to Cullman, Alabama where he attended Vinemont High School and was a starter before injuring his shoulder in 2004. After injury, Coach Ellison worked hard to get back in playing shape and pursued his playing career at Wallace State Community College under Coach Randy Putman. After his playing career was over, he began volunteering at the YMCA of Birmingham's youth baseball program to start his coaching career. He has been involved with private instruction for going on five years now.  In the fall of 2013, Coach Ellison led the 16U Shelby Knights to the USSSA AAA Fall State Championship. They also was a participant in the Rickwood Classic Showcase at Rickwood Field where he associated with college level coaches in order to promote his players. He also led the 13U Braves to a 60/90 Tournament Championship at Pelham High School. He has a passion for the game that in unmatched, and that asset is hard to find in a coach. Coach Ellison is well respected in the Birmingham baseball world, and the Braves can utilize his next level contacts for our potential college players. He currently resides in Leeds, Alabama and specializes in injury prevention, catching and hitting for the Braves.
"If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven't done anything today"
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