Illini football

Introducing Vashoune Russell, photographer

Lovie Smith says "oh no he didn't get to the three yard line" or something of that sort.
Lovie Smith says “oh no he didn’t get to the three yard line” or something of that sort. (Vashoune Russell)

Perhaps you noticed a change with the pictures here at IlliniReport. Suddenly, after years of mediocrity, they don’t suck.

After 14 years coaching Urbana High sports, including the last seven as head boys basketball coach, Vashoune Russell decided to hang up his whistle and instead wrap a Canon Mark IV around his neck.

Some of you may remember Vashoune as the skinny, quiet kid on the Leal School playground. I know I do. On the other hand, many of you will be stunned to learn that Vashoune was once skinny.

Our long association is the reason IlliniReport is the place you’ll see his photography this season. But I expect you’ll see his work elsewhere, too, once the secret gets out.

Here’s a sampling of the moments he captured Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska.