After 15 years of mending athletes and reviving their spirits, Huxley, IA, physical therapist Rob Drew, D.P.T.’94, LAT, got his time in the spotlight in March as he was given the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Sports Medicine Award.
Drew has been a resident of Huxley for the past 18 years. He and his wife, Amy, have one daughter, Ashley, and one son, Connor.
Drew worked at Mary Greeley Medical Center, headquartered in Ames, IA; at 21st Century Rehab out of Nevada, IA, for five years and spent one and a half years working at a nursing home before starting up Huxley Physical Therapy in August of 2002. He has served as an athletic trainer at both Ballard and North Polk high schools for over a decade – starting 15 years ago at Ballard and adding North Polk two years later.
“More than anything, Rob has always been available,” Sinclair said. “Over the years, I have called, and he has been willing to squeeze our kids in…When finances are an issue, he has always been able to make the adjustments for families.”
Sinclair noted that Drew gets amazing results in his work rehabbing injured athletes.
“I had a football player tear an ACL during a playoff game…he had surgery and started working with Rob,” Sinclair said. “Rob set up individual workouts, and even met with him outside of the office many times to help him get through workouts. The North Polk athlete was able to get into track three and a half months after the surgery.”
Current Ballard head football coach Al Christian echoed Sinclair’s sentiments toward Drew.
“Rob has been with us since day one,” Christian said. “He has been a great trainer and friend to Ballard High School. He works his own work schedule and family schedule around helping athletes. He is active in the Ballard community in many ways and is a huge asset to us.”
Drew said he was surprised upon hearing the news that he’d been selected for the award, which he received at halftime of the Class 2A Iowa boys’ state basketball championship game in Des Moines’ Wells Fargo Arena on March 9.
“I am very honored and humbled to be recognized for something I truly enjoy: anything I can do to help athletes stay strong. That’s my job.”
“When I first got the letter, I thought it was a joke,” Drew said. “Then I had to find out who nominated me. I thank Rob [Sinclair] so much for nominating me. I am very honored and humbled to be recognized for something I truly enjoy: anything I can do to help athletes stay strong. That’s my job.”
Drew added that he likes the perks of getting to attend so many high school athletic events at Ballard and North Polk. But he stressed that he isn’t there to be a spectator.
“I look at the games a little differently,” Drew said. “I’m looking for injuries and the mechanics of injuries; like if a lineman gets hit in the knee, I have a pretty good idea of what the injury might be as I’m running out to the athlete on the field.”
Drew recently was helping a North Polk girls’ basketball player recover from an injury that cut her junior season short. He said there is no better feeling than when an athlete comes back from a devastating injury to continue his or her athletic career in high school and beyond.
“It’s very rewarding to help a young athlete go from being depressed to regaining their confidence along with their physical ability,” Drew said. “To see someone like this girl, who is just bummed, not be able to finish her junior year is tough. But she’ll be back for her senior year.”