We Have a Winner! Dustin Rush is the 2024 AT Excellence Award Winner 🎖️


We Have a Winner! Dustin Rush is the 2024 AT Excellence Award Winner 🎖️

Apr 16, 2024
Written by
Saba Arif

800+ nominations, enough words to fill a novel, and countless cups of coffee later (phew!), we FINALLY have a winner! We’re thrilled to announce that Dustin Rush, Athletic Trainer at Frenship Independent School District, is the 2024 Perry Weather AT Excellence Award winner!

Our friends at Frenship ISD orchestrated an epic plan to surprise Coach Rush with the announcement. Dustin, who had no idea about the award, was called for a “meeting” at the fieldhouse lobby, where over 40 athletic coaches, school board members, student trainers, and even his family, eagerly awaited (with tons of confetti, no less!) his arrival to celebrate this win.

“Dustin’s extraordinary commitment to athlete safety exemplifies the very spirit of the AT Excellence Award,” said Colin Perry, CEO of Perry Weather. “He genuinely cares about each student’s well-being, and that kind of passion makes all the difference. We are proud to present him with the 2024 Perry Weather AT Excellence Award.”

Along with the recognition, Dustin also receives a $2,000 donation to a sports medicine scholarship fund or charity of his choice. Last year, Perry Weather presented the inaugural AT Excellence Award to David Csillan, a veteran athletic trainer with 37 years of experience at The Hun School of Princeton in New Jersey. 

Why We Chose Coach Rush

“It’s a great honor to receive this award,” said Coach Rush. “There are so many athletic trainers throughout the nation that work hard every day and to be recognized for the work that we put in helps represent more than just me, it speaks for our profession. I’m very appreciative and humbled to be nominated because you do a lot of work behind the scenes and don’t expect a pat on the back. Those who nominated me deserve the award and recognition just as much as I do.”

For over 13 years, Coach Rush has been the heart and soul of Frenship’s athletic training program. Forget just taping ankles – we’re talking about a dedication that goes the extra mile. 

  • From late-night hospital vigils with injured athletes to countless hours supervising on the field, Coach Rush’s commitment to his athletes is relentless.
  • “He has elevated the entire athletic training program at Frenship ISD,” shared Bryan Gerlich, Athletic Director at Frenship ISD. Student-athletes are setting records, reaching new heights (literally!), and even competing at the state level for the first time!
  • “His compassion toward our students and their families is something that sets him apart,” said Chad Reynolds, Head Baseball Coach at Frenship ISD. 

Here are a few excerpts from his nomination: 

“When a student is transported to the hospital for an injury, Coach Rush is the first one there by the bedside to visit the student AND the family – making sure they have what they need and feel supported by Frenship. This isn’t a one-time deal. Coach Rush does this all the time. 

“One of Dustin’s most commendable traits is his willingness to assist every student in need, never uttering a “no” when approached for help, evaluation, or therapy.”

More Than Just a Trophy

“This award is all about celebrating the heroes of sports medicine,” Perry continued. “Dustin is a shining example of an exceptional athletic trainer, and we are proud to present him with the 2024 Perry Weather AT Excellence Award.” Dustin also receives a $2,000 donation to further the cause he believes in most.

Want to learn more about Dustin’s incredible work? Check out the heartwarming tribute from his colleagues at the Frenship ISD website, or read about the other amazing AT nominees here.

From all of us at Perry Weather, ​​a giant congratulations, Dustin Rush – you’ve earned every bit of this spotlight, and we can’t wait to see where your journey takes you next! 🎉🏆✨

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