A graduate of Parkwood High School, Rusty played for two legendary coaches: Dewey Combs in football and Russ Kaminsky in basketball. He was an all-Ozark Conference and all-district selection in football in 1972 and 1973. The Bears won the Ozark Conference championship in 1972.
Rusty received an athletic scholarship to Iowa State University to play football, but transferred to Missouri Southern following his freshman year and played quarterback three years for the Lions of Jim Frazier. Rusty helped the Lions finish as co-champions of the CSIC Conference in 1976.
While at Southern, he earned first-team all-CSIC and first team all-district in 1976 and 1977. He was an honorable mention NAIA All-American in 1976. He currently ranks sixth on Southern’s all-time record for passing yards, total offense and pass completions.
Following his graduating form Missouri Southern, Rusty taught and coached at Joplin Memorial High School from 1978-1981, coaching football, basketball, baseball and tennis. He then taught and coached football and basketball at Webb City High School form 1982-84.
Rusty was named athletic director for the Joplin R-8 School District in 1986, succeeding Harold Thompson. During his tenure as the Joplin AD, he developed and expanded numerous programs and offerings for the student/athletes of Joplin. Using the National Guard, Shelley added a soccer facility on the south end of the JHS campus.
He also developed and implemented the state’s first drug testing program for high school athletes. Joplin’s programs and athletes won numerous championships and awards during his tenure.
While serving as Joplin’s athletic director, Rusty was president of the Missouri Athletic Administrators Association form 1993-1997 and was named athletic director of the year in 1999 by the MIAAA an received the award of merit from the national organization (NIAAA). He also spoke at state and national meetings on athletic administration.
While in Joplin, Rusty also served the community by serving on the Joplin Parks and Recreation Board and was charter member of the Joplin Sports Authority. It was his dream to see the JSA Hall of Fame to recognize local and area athletes.
Rusty left Joplin to accept a position of athletic director at Pattonville High School in Missouri. He is currently a State Farm insurance agent in St. Charles, MO. And had received numerous awards.
He is married to Mary Jane and has two daughters, Lori (27), who lives in Joplin, and Kristen (25), who resides in Dallas, TX. He also has two step-sons, Kyle (25) of St. Charles, and Cody (21), a student at Missouri State University.
His mother, Myrna, lives in Neosho and is married to Bill Martz.