In his senior year, Rutledge was a captain for the Wildcat men’s soccer team. Photo by Matt Blymier

Fit for a Ring

Web career leads grad to Super Bowl

by Matt Blymier, assistant director of athletics/sports information director

Published August 1, 2018

What began as a hobby for Chris Rutledge turned into a passion – and a dream career.

Plus a soon-to-be Super Bowl ring.

Chris Rutledge, a 2016 graduate of the college’s web and interactive media major, will be fitted for a Super Bowl ring as the Philadelphia Eagles’ digital project coordinator. Photo courtesy of RutledgeHis journey from a student at Emmaus High School to Minneapolis – the site of Super Bowl LII – as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles’ digital team, included a four-year stop in Williamsport as a student-athlete at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Rutledge, ’16, first became interested in building websites in his junior year of high school, and he had that in mind when it came time to look for a college. He wanted a school that was far enough away – to gain a new experience – but not so far that he could not make an occasional trip home, and one that offered a major in web development. 

Penn College satisfied all of those requirements: It offers a web and interactive media major, and it is approximately three hours from his hometown.

“I think the major was fantastic at Penn College,” Rutledge explained. “The small class sizes, the one-on-one with professors and the hands-on experience were important.”

During his freshman year at Penn College, Rutledge became involved in another of his passions – soccer. He did not play in high school but wanted to get involved in the sport again, so he became a student manager in his first year. By his senior year, he was a team captain and started in every match for the Wildcats that season.

“The small class sizes, the one-on-one with professors and the hands-on experience were important.”

“Soccer helped to keep me on track and focused,” Rutledge said. “It forces you to stay on a schedule and prioritize your work. It was a great experience.”

While interning for a company in New York City, Rutledge received a message on LinkedIn from someone from the Philadelphia Eagles inquiring about his interest in working for the team. Following several phone interviews and an in-person meeting at the NovaCare Complex, the Eagles’ headquarters, Rutledge was offered a job as the digital project coordinator, responsible for the front-facing part of the team’s website and mobile app.

Rutledge admits that he wasn’t a big football fan, and he favored the Chicago Bears because he was born in Chicago and spent the first three years of his life in the city. All of that changed when he began working for the Eagles.

“It’s a dream job that I could have never dreamed of,” Rutledge joked. “Being around the players at lunch and going to the home games, it’s impossible to not be an Eagles fan now.”

Just a year and a half into his job, Rutledge’s employer had its best season in franchise history. The Eagles reached just their third Super Bowl. On Feb. 4, Philadelphia knocked off heavily favored New England and brought back the city’s first Lombardi Trophy. And Rutledge was there to experience it.

“It hasn’t sunk in,” Rutledge said of the Super Bowl Championship. “And I feel guilty that I’m experiencing this in just my second year, when so many people have waited even longer than that.

“I think once we start getting sized for (Super Bowl) rings is when it will finally hit me.”  ■