Midland Greenwood High School is a special place to Rusty Purser.
Not only does Purser have deep family ties attached to the school and community, but he now finds himself back home after 19 years. This time, he brings his family with him as the head coach and athletic director of the Greenwood football program.
Returning to become the head coach in 2019, Purser has high expectations for the upcoming season.
“Over time Greenwood has been becoming more successful, but especially in the last three years,” Coach Purser said. “But sustainability is much more important than being a roller coaster. Sustained success should be the expectation rather than the exception.”
In talking about his team, Coach Purser had no shortage of praise, giving plenty to both the upperclassmen and underclassmen in his program. But he didn’t stop there.
“Big hats off to the school and the community, it took the whole place to make something like that happen,” Purser said when discussing how the community handled COVID-19.
Being back in Greenwood means a great deal to Coach Purser. It is a town that has grown tremendously over the last few years, but still maintains its unique features. Though the town has grown, one constant is the school remaining a strong pillar of the community that is rallied behind.
Perhaps one of the largest driving factors for Coach Purser to return to Greenwood was his family. Though he believes there are no shortage of great places, he believes Greenwood is unique.
“To be back as a coach and an AD and to have my family with me was a huge driving factor,” Coach Purser stated. “To raise my family in an environment that has so many positive qualities, as well as high athletic and academic expectations is what I was looking for.”
Though the positive qualities that Coach Purser holds so dear are many, they can be summed up by the town’s tradition. Greenwood is a town built upon tenacity and remains synonymous with it. A town that believes that hard work is demanded to see results.
“There are some things that, whether it be on a Friday or Wednesday or Monday, that have been the same since 1986,” Purser said. “Overall, there are traditions that have survived over 40 years and that’s special. That tradition and tenacity is not only what the program is about, but what the town is about.”
It is this tradition that drew Coach Purser home. The strive for greater in the community stands out, not only professionally to him, but also in raising his family. Being in an environment in which tenacity and hard work are ingrained in traditions is something that Coach Purser looks to continue as he takes Midland Greenwood to new heights.
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