The James C. (Jimmy) Montecalvo and Luke Blanock

Shortly before beginning her sixth season as W&J’s softball head coach in March 2023, Rush was involved in a car accident where an examination of her head injury doctors found a cancerous Grade 2 mass on her brain, unrelated to the accident.

She was transported by ambulance to a Pittsburgh hospital, had surgery, and, courageously, returned a few weeks later to coach the team to the conclusion of the regular season.

Nic Rush, Marissa’s husband and the head baseball coach at Chatham College, was driving a van in Florida to one of Chatham’s Florida trip’s games when he got word of the accident and immediately returned home. Their son, now 5-year-old Raymond, stayed with and was cared for by relatives during Marissa’s stay in the hospital and immediate recovery.

Assistant coach Hanna Dietz ran the team and the W&J community was amazed and moved at Rush’s quick return.

Marissa has an MRI every three months to monitor the complete resection and feels fortunate that if not for an obvious unplanned hit to the head, she may have not known about the mass until it was too late.