Ruegamer finds success after NFL career ends

Grey Ruegamer, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots and New York Giants, is a retired offensive lineman enjoying success after football.

Ruegamer, 35, grew up inLas Vegas, but decided to come to Tempe and attend college at ASU.

“I came to ASU because I was familiar with it,” Ruegamer said. “My brother came to school here and I wanted to play in the Pac-10 on television. I didn’t have that many scholarship offers and it was between (ASU) andMontana. All my family is fromMontana, but I figured I could play on television and they could watch at ASU.”

Ruegamer’s choice to come to the center of theArizonadesert proved fortuitous. The former lineman was part of ASU’s 1996 Rose Bowl team that finished 11-1. Following his days in maroon and gold, Ruegamer was drafted in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins.

Ruegamer says his success up to that point in his career was unexpected.

“I just came down to have fun, play football and go to school,” Ruegamer said. “Success came, and I was very fortunate in my career here.”

Ruegamer has now made his way back toTempewith hopes of helping kids have the kind of success he had. As a member of the Sun Devil Athletic Department’s student development section, Ruegamer mentors a few Sun Devil football players and hopes to use his experiences to impact them in a positive manner.

“I came back to see what was going on here and to try to get involved,” Ruegamer said. “I wanted to use some of my experiences to help student-athletes here and to try and make a difference. I learned a lot about the business of sport and I want to press upon these kids, ‘hey football is going to last for most of you four or five years and many of you aren’t going to make it, so don’t be a dumbass. Go to school and get your grades’.”

Recently, Ruegamer expanded his base of athletes, taking a position coaching offensive lineman atScottsdaleChaparralHigh School.

Stephen Mulrow, a sophomore offensive lineman at Chaparral is already looking at Ruegamer for advice.

“He gives us advice on football and life,” Mulrow said. “We can trust his advice because of his experiences. He always tells us that he was in our shoes at one time and that we should always pursue our dreams whether they be on and off the field.”

ASU Athletics Media Relations Director Doug Tammaro has spent significant time with Ruegamer and thinks his formula to post-football success is simple.

“He has so much football knowledge and has never lost a grasp of who he is and it shows a lot about him,” Tammaro said.

Reaching the NFL was a lifelong goal for Ruegamer and he reaped the benefits of making it there.

“It was a great experience,” Ruegamer said. “It’s one of those things that people talk about, but until you’ve actually been there you can’t appreciate.”

Ruegamer played for six teams in his 10 NFL seasons. He was known as a valuable utility man, which explains his frequent movement throughout the league.

“I would have loved to stick with one team, but that’s not the business,” Ruegamer said. “I was not a full time starter for any team. I was viewed as the guy who could come in and play any position.”

Although Ruegamer is currently known more for his crazy antics, he has found the post-football path of success and hopes to bring many followers with him in the coming years.

 

Reach the reporter at dsshapi1@asu.edu