|Date of birth||15 February 1960|
|Place of birth||Swansea, Wales|
|1990||→ Shrewsbury Town (loan)||5||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Coughlin began his professional career with Manchester City in 1977, but after failing to break into the first team at Maine Road, he joined Blackburn Rovers the following year. At Ewood Park, he made 24 league appearances in two years.
Four years later, in 1984, Coughlin moved to England's south coast to sign for Plymouth Argyle. There, he broke the 130-league-game mark again, scoring eighteen goals in the process.
In 1987, he returned to the north-west to join Sam Ellis's Blackpool. He made his debut for the Seasiders on 12 December, in a 1–1 draw at Chesterfield in the league. He scored his first goal for the club three games later, in another 1–1 draw, this time at Notts County. He went on to make 24 appearances and score two goals in total during the 1987–88 league campaign.
The following season, 1988–89, Coughlin spent the majority of his games as strike partner to new signing Andy Garner. In 42 league appearances, he scored five goals, three of which were from the penalty spot. He also scored in Blackpool's League Cup campaign, in a 2–0 second round, first leg victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Bloomfield Road on 27 September 1988.
In 1989–90, under new manager Jimmy Mullen, Coughlin returned to his favoured midfield role. He made 34 league appearances and scored one goal as Blackpool finished second-bottom and were relegated to Division Four. Coughlin left the seaside early the following season after a loan spell at Shrewsbury Town.
Coughlin joined his hometown club, Swansea City, for the 1990–91 season, and went on to make 101 league appearances for the Welshmen, before leaving for Exeter City in 1993, in part-exchange for John Hodge.
- Russell Coughlin career stats at Soccerbase
- Coughlin's stats at Neil Brown's football player database
- Calley, Roy (1992). Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887-1992. Breedon Books Sport. ISBN 1-873626-07-X.