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Dustin Emery

Co-Head Athletic Trainer and McKinney High School

“I decided that I could make a greater impact on student-athletes through being an Athletic Trainer at the secondary school level.”

In the world of high school sports, there are unsung heroes working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the safety and well-being of student-athletes. Dustin Emery, Co-Head Athletic Trainer at McKinney High School in the McKinney Independent School District, is one such individual. Emery breaks stereotypes with his tattoos, backwards hat, and laid-back attire, but his commitment to his craft speaks volumes about his character.

As a child, Emery harbored dreams of gracing the diamond as a middle infielder for the Texas Rangers. However, life often has its own playbook. His aspirations shifted towards architecture and engineering before ultimately finding his calling in athletic training.

Emery's journey into athletic training was sparked by personal adversity. After enduring an ACL tear and a diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, he found solace in the hands of physical therapists and athletic trainers. Their impact on his life ignited a desire to pay it forward, particularly at the secondary school level where he could mold and support young athletes.

“I spent some time in PT and with my ATs “Doc” Hughes and “Doc” Pruitt, and thought PT was the route I wanted to take, but after looking at my life and the impact that was made on me. I decided that I could make a greater impact on student-athletes through being an Athletic Trainer at the secondary school level,” says Emery.

After earning his Master of Athletic Training degree from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Emery embarked on a mission to empower student-athletes. For him, the joy lies in witnessing their journey from injury to recovery, from uncertainty to triumph. It's not just about taping ankles or evaluating injuries; it's about building relationships and instilling confidence in young athletes.

Emery's career has been anything but ordinary. If there's one thing that stands out amidst his years of service, it's the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. With sports on pause and interactions limited, Emery found solace in virtual connections with fellow athletic trainers. It was during this tumultuous time that he formed bonds with colleagues who became pillars of support in uncertain times.

Yet, amidst the chaos, there's a steady anchor in Emery's life—his wife. Though he may never admit it openly, Emery draws inspiration from watching her navigate the complexities of their shared profession while balancing the demands of parenthood.

“The opportunity that I have had to watch her grow in our district and in our profession over the past 3 years and in her career has been so admirable. She is driven, passionate, resilient, and hardworking. Between raising our 4-year-old and keeping me in line… she’s got a lot on her plate,” says Emery.

As he looks to the future, Emery remains steadfast in his commitment to education and excellence. Whether it's advocating for his profession or upholding the "Gold Standard" at McKinney High School, he's determined to leave a lasting impact on the next generation of athletic trainers.

McKinney ISD has invested in Kinematic products like the SidelinER, which plays a crucial role in maintaining privacy for athletes and their families during critical moments. Emery says, “With a stadium capacity of 12,000+, the SidelinER is instrumental in helping maintain privacy for our athletes and their families as they go through what can potentially be a life changing moment.”

Dustin Emery's dedication to his role as Co-Head Athletic Trainer at McKinney High School exemplifies the commitment and passion of individuals working in the field of athletic training. His unique approach, unwavering dedication, and innovative use of technology ensure that student-athletes receive the best

possible care, both on and off the field.


Written by Allison Ragland

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