Everyday Hero: Andrew ‘Andy’ Ruge

Posted: September 27, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Nicholas Zinzer and Colleen Kearney Rich

This occasional Mason Gazette feature profiles key people at Mason who “make it happen.”

Andy Ruge
Andy Ruge
Mason Athletics photo

Years at Mason: 10

Current Position: Associate Athletic Director, Marketing and Communications

What He Does: When it comes to promoting Mason sports, making friends is a big part of Andy Ruge’s job. “I build relationships,” says Ruge. “My job is to sell Mason either via ticket sales or sponsorships – and that all comes down to what kind of relationship people have with George Mason.”

First Job at Mason: Assistant Athletic Director, Tickets and Promotions

Life before Mason: Before joining the university, Ruge was the assistant general manager for the minor league baseball team the Potomac Nationals, which is the farm team for the Washington Nationals.

One of the Things He Likes Best about His Job: Being part of a team. “I’m lucky because the people here want to work as a team,” he says. “I’m not sure that happens everywhere, but the staff here in athletics and most every department on campus sees that vision too. That helps me perform at a maximum in promoting George Mason.”

What You Might Not Know about Him: Ruge is a funny guy. Although he is known for his sense of humor around the office, many people don’t know about his brief exploration into stand up comedy. “I brought the house down at a comedy club one night,” he says.

His Most Surreal Experience at Mason: Like most everyone who was here on campus in March 2006, Ruge can’t help but reminisce about the Final Four. “Reaching the pinnacle of your profession is what you strive to obtain and that especially rings true in sports,” say Ruge. “I was a part of what legendary sportscaster Dick Enberg called ‘one of the best stories ever in sports.’ Beating three of the last seven National Champions and winning the regional championship was amazing. After that game, I drove back to work with almost $500,000 worth of Final Four tickets. Final Four week was crazy. As we left for Indianapolis, a news helicopter followed us to our plane. There we received a police escort to our hotel. It was a surreal ride with the police escorts, media caravans, boisterous crowds and celebrity sightings.”

What He Does for Fun: Play games – all kinds of games. “Family time is what I enjoy. My wife, Lisa (MacVittie), and my two boys, Jake and Nick, really like playing games together,” he says. “We play all kinds – like board games, video games, old arcade games – and sometimes we just play a good old game of baseball. My wife even has a glove. We have air hockey, an old pinball game, Ms. Pacman and a stand-up arcade game, so at times we just have an all-out game night that usually is pretty loud.”

Sports Teams He Follows: Of course, Mason is his No. 1 team, but “the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs are big at my house too.” He tries to get to Packers and Cubs games when he can, and of course, he can always be found at the Mason games. “My basement is filled with memorabilia. It is a shrine to my favorite teams.”

On Mason Athletes: “It is neat to get to know them and help them grow, but the best part is when they return after graduation. They come back with an appreciation and pride for George Mason University and their experience here.”

What People Say about Him:

“Andy has a challenging job and he was really put to the test last spring. The one thing that stands out for me is how cool he is under pressure. For most people it was an exhilarating time; for those on the front lines, it was that and a time to pull out all the stops and just work until the job was done – even if it meant forgoing sleep. I’m sure Andy had some sleepless nights.”

—Chris Clark Talley, executive director of Alumni Affairs

“I have had the privilege of working with Ruge since I started working at Mason. Since then he has been a great collaborative colleague and a good friend. He has the students’ best interests in mind at all times and is always trying to think out of the box to entice students to attend games and matches and support Mason athletes. He is always someone I like to work with because if he says he is going to do something then he does it. He is so proud of Mason, win or lose – lucky for all of us last year was a great year – now if only his beloved Packers could do the same! I totally enjoy working with Ruge to create school spirit and a sense of community at Mason – he is the best!

—Alissa Karton, assistant to the vice president for University Life

“Andy is a terrific person to be around. He has the rare ability to balance serious work in a light-hearted and fun atmosphere. You know he cares about you and wants you to enjoy your job, but at the same time accomplish goals and get the work done.”

—Maureen Nasser, assistant athletic director for, media relations, Intercollegiate Athletics

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