Don Rush dies

Sad news out of Avella tonight when word reached the O-R that Don Rush, who coached the Avella wrestling team for two different stretches, died. No other details were available.

Wrestling fans knew Ducky, as he was fondly nicknamed, for fielding some of the Eagles strongest wrestling teams. He began his coaching career in the Avella youth program in 1974, which was fitting because his father, Ab, started the youth program in 1974.

Rush became head coach in 1993 and resigned in 2003, when Jeff Breese Sr., his assistant, took over. Rush became head coach again four years later and coached the team until health problems forced him out again last spring.

A work accident in 1991 left Rush paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, but that never slowed him down. He was such an emoptional coach that on some occasions, he fell out of his wheelchair. The Eagles wrestlers seemed unfazed when this happened and simply put him back in the wheelchair.

When Rush guided the Eagles into the WPIAL Team Tournament in 200, it snapped a 13-year drought drought. Two of Rush's sons, Don and Chas, were on the team.


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