Sociology professor Ken Ruettgers is a published author, former National Football League player, and now a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
Ruettgers’ career with the Green Bay Packers began in 1985 after being a first round draft pick from the University of Southern California as an offensive left tackle. In his 12-year career with the Green Bay Packers, Ruettgers proved himself to be a valuable asset to the team, playing in 156 games and being voted the Packers’ Most Valuable Offensive Player in 1989. Ruettgers eventually hung up his football pads in 1996 and retired from the NFL.
Once retired, Ruettgers traded in his position as a football player to become a teacher and author. He used his experience in the NFL as a father to write The Home Field Advantage, a book helping fathers accept the responsibility of being a parent and role model for their children while having successful careers. This led Ruettgers and his family to move to Central Oregon after being offered a job by Multnomah Publishing in Sisters. Shortly after, he applied his doctorate in sociology and began teaching at Central Oregon Community College as a sociology instructor.
Although Ruettgers is far beyond his Packers years, he still left a lasting impact on the Packer community and its fans.
“The Packers [are]…one of the few sports teams owned by the public,” Ruettgers explained. “So stockholders, fans and residents of the state of Wisconsin own the team, which is really neat.”
Due to fans having ownership of the team, the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame is independent from the team. This means that all players chosen to be placed in the Hall of Fame, including Ruettgers, are voted in by the fans themselves.
Ruettgers and his family shared in the excitement when they were told the “humbling” news of Ruettgers induction into the Packer Hall of Fame this past December by the Green Bay fans.
“It took me a couple weeks after the announcement to take it in… I had to pinch myself to say ‘wow, this is actually happening.’”
Ken Ruettgers and fellow former player Ahman Green will be ceremoniously inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in July.
Emily Frances Kalei