For the 19th consecutive year, The A.F. Bridges Awards program includes awards for School System Administrator of the Year, Principal of the Year, Athletic Director of the Year, Female Coach of the Year, Male Coach of the Year, Official of the Year, and Contributor of the Year. The awards recognize 63 individuals from across our state that represent what’s best in high school athletics. Recognition was made in the above mentioned categories in each of the nine athletic districts in our state.
Nominations were made by a Citizenship/Sportsmanship Committee and member schools in each athletic district and the final selection was made by a State Selection Committee.
Bernard Childress, Executive Director of the TSSAA stated, “Being recognized for one of these awards as a school or individual should be seen as one of the highest honors in high school athletics in our state. Those who receive the awards truly reflect what high school athletics should be about, and that’s good sportsmanship and good citizenship.”
Steve Trussler, Grundy County High School Athletic Director from February of 2015 until June of 2018, was named Athletic Director of the Year for District 3. He was presented with his award this week.
Trussler led Grundy County athletics through some difficult times which saw four changes in Director of Schools, two principal changes, and several coaching changes. He worked with neighboring Coffee County Central High School in a TSSAA Cooperative program, allowing GCHS student athletes to participate in soccer, wrestling, and track and field.
Trussler instilled in his coaches and student athletes the values of class, character, and integrity. Under his leadership, Grundy County sent cross country athletes to the TSSAA state meet, boys’ and girls’ basketball and softball to the region tournament, and baseball to the Spring Fling.
Resigning in full compliance with TSSAA, Trussler continues to teach as GCHS and serves as athletic trainer for girls’ and boys’ basketball, softball, and baseball. He is an active multi-sport TSSAA official, currently completing his 50th year of service to student athletes across the state.
“I am truly humbled to be a recipient of this award,” said Trussler. “To be honored for a job that I simply enjoyed doing every day is overwhelming. The administration, faculty, and most especially the students at Grundy County High School made the last four years a wonderful experience for me. I was blessed to get to finish my career working with the people that I have always had a passion to help, which are the young men and women at GCHS. I can’t thank them all enough.”
Trussler and his wife Wilma have two sons, Dr. Jay Trussler and Jon Trussler, both former GCHS and NCAA student athletes. The Trusslers enjoy spending time with their six grandchildren.