"We're excited to welcome Ryan back to Auburn as a part of our staff," Malzahn said. "He is on the cutting edge in the strength and conditioning profession, and is a high-tempo, high-energy guy who fits well with our philosophy.
"He's worked with very successful football programs and knows what it takes to get the most out of his athletes," Malzahn added.
Russell, who was an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Auburn football team, made the move with Malzahn to Arkansas State after the 2011 season and he served as ASU's director of athletic performance during the 2012 season.
"I'm extremely excited to be coming back to Auburn, a place that has been so special to me and to my wife (Sarah)," said Russell. "It's a wonderful university and a great professional opportunity for me to be returning here.
"I am very appreciative to Coach Malzahn and to (Auburn Athletic Director) Jay Jacobs for giving me this opportunity, and I'm eager to get started," he said.
Yoxall found out last week after Malzahn was hired that he was not being retained as the strength and conditioning coach for the football Tigers, a position he held dating back to the 1999 season.
His replacement is in his third assignment at Auburn. His first was in 2005-2006 as a graduate assistant on Yoxall's staff. Prior to that he served internships at Louisville and Pitt after graduating with a degree in exercise since in 2003 from West Liberty State where he was an all-conference football player at wide receiver.
Russell served professional internships as a strength and conditioning coach at Louisville in 2004 and Pitt in 2005 before coming to Auburn as a graduate assistant coach in 2005-06 where he earned a master's degree in adult education.
Russell, a native of Palm Springs, Calif., played pro football in the Arena Football League for the Las Vegas Gladiators and the Louisville Fire in 2003.
He was an associate strength and conditioning coach for the Boise State football team from 2007-09 before returning to Auburn for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.