Not only is he a hall of fame inductee, but he has his own day.
The city of Joplin announced that the day after Rutledges birthday, Monday, Nov. 19 was to be “Tom C. Rutledge day.”
“It was such a surprise...” Rutledge said “...But, I knew something was up when my son showed up from Pittsburg. Then they presented me with my day and I was very speechless and I wasn’t expecting it.”
Rutledge will also be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, an honor that has also been bestowed upon Missouri Southern Alumnus Rod Smith.
“I thought somebody was pulling my leg and teasing me when I got the phone call about the hall of fame. I wasn’t expecting that as well, I’m very humbled.” Rutledge said.
The ceremony will be held on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield.
“What I think about it how many thousands of student athletes he’s impacted over the years, you have about 50 athletes a year and if you multiply that over the years, it’s pretty impressive to think about that,” Missouri Southern Athletic Director Jared Bruggerman said.
Tom Rutledge announced his retirement November 21 after being with the lions for 24 seasons. His retirement becomes effective June 2013.