Andrew Preston is a sports guy. He always has been and says there are not many sports that can deter his commitment to parking himself in front of the television on big game days. For years, he’s followed the men’s basketball team at the University of Kentucky, and he can more than likely rattle off their average points per game stats off the top of his head.
He’s been a proud Trevecca Trojan for the last six years, and though he said he always will be, Preston has made a move from his previous position as a graduate assistant at Trevecca to sports information director (SID) at Erskine College.
He’d never heard of Erskine, a small private Christian college located in Due West, South Carolina, so when he got a call from the head athletic director Mark Peeler, he was a bit caught off guard. That surprise was quickly overtaken by excitement—they were looking for a SID. A month later, Peeler offered Preston the position.
“When Mark called, I didn’t even know the college existed. Then, I found out that Trevecca's head athletic trainer, Tuesday Hunt, went to Erskine. She answered lots of questions about the school, the region, anything I wanted to know,” he said. “Then I had to think about whether I wanted to go for it. I saw the opportunity to expand on my skills, and I took it. But who gets a job and moves to a new state in the middle of a pandemic? It’s cliché, but it was meant to be. I really miss Trevecca and hope to get back eventually, but this was meant to be. God worked it out and allowed me to find my way.”
Preston, a Class of 2018 graduate of Trevecca’s multimedia journalism program as well as a graduate of Trevecca’s masters in organizational leadership program, credits much of his success to his time at the University.
“My older brothers and my dad all went to the same school in Indiana, but I wanted to find my own path. When I started applying to schools, I was seeking a Christian environment, and I knew right away that Trevecca was that place,” he said. “It’s hard to say what I love about Trevecca because what I love about Trevecca is all that it is—the community, the people, the campus, the experience. I’ve never been anywhere like it, and I don’t think I’ll find another place like it. Trevecca means so much to me, and my time there shaped me so much.”
Preston said since starting at Erskine, he’s realized just how much Greg Ruff, Trevecca’s director of sports information, is responsible for. While earning his master’s, Preston worked as a graduate assistant with Ruff and learned the ins and outs of how to promote the athletics department and manage all the stats and data they collect.
“I’ve been meaning to reach out to Greg and tell him about all the things I’m learning he took care of that I never knew,” Preston said. “Now that it’s my job to handle those things, I see how much work he did. Having him as a mentor has been so helpful.”
Ruff, who has been with Trevecca since 1998, said he has no doubts that Preston has what it takes to succeed in his new role.
“I am always impressed by Andrew’s confidence and maturity, and his decision-making ability really set him apart. He knew what he wanted and worked to achieve those things. As a graduate assistant, he was determined to help me—he actually cared enough about me to take on some of what was on my plate so the load I was carrying was lighter,” Ruff said. “With Andrew on the job, I was able to leave campus with a sporting event going on if I needed to and know the right decisions would be made. I’ll always be grateful for that gift.”
Preston said his time at Trevecca working with Ruff has been more helpful than he feels he can put into words. And thanks to Ruff’s mentorship, Preston said he feels he’s equipped with what he needs to do well in his new position. He said he hopes to one day return to Trevecca, maybe even succeeding Ruff in the role of sports information director.
“Trevecca really prepared me for the intangibles of the job. It’s been different at Erskine because I don’t have the same kind of community yet, but having the passion for the job that I cultivated at Trevecca has helped me here,” Preston said. “I love Trevecca so much, and I hope that passion helps lead me back eventually.”
Ruff said he has no doubts that Preston will end up back on the Hill. Once a Trojan, always a Trojan.
“When my position is open, I would be proud to see Andrew be the person to build on what we’ve been able to create. He has such a love for this school, and it shows in his work. He believes in our mission and lives it, and he understands how important athletics is to telling the Trevecca story,” he said.
In the meantime, Preston said he plans to focus on his work and on gaining as much experience as possible. After all, he’s got plans to fill some big shoes one day.
“Trevecca was a place where I earned two degrees, made countless lifelong friends, and grew in all aspects of my life. It was my home for over five years,” Preston said. “As difficult as it was to leave life in Nashville and Trevecca behind, for now, I know I will return one day. I want to be able to serve my alma mater, doing work that I love, and see myself as a valuable asset to Trevecca.”