Meet Andre Love, Recreational Sports' New Director!
February 28, 2022
In honor of United Black World Month, we want to recognize our new team leader, Andre Love. Andre joined Ohio State and the Office of Student Life Department of Recreational Sports in August of 2021 as the first Black Director of Recreational Sports in our 109-year history. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role most recently serving as the Executive Director of Campus Recreation at the University of Alabama. Andre’s leadership has been essential as we continue to expand our in-person operations, programs and services. We celebrate not only his contributions over the course of his career, but his vision for building more welcoming, inclusive and equitable spaces for our community to discover the benefits of living a Life in Motion.
Andre has worked for Recreational Sports since his first day at University Southern of Mississippi as a college freshman. As a former high school athlete, working for Rec Sports was how he stayed connected to sports and to the community. “Sports were a great equalizer. If I can play this game, I can relate to you. If I can be successful or we go out and have a good time…now we have something in common we can talk about,” Andre said. Reflecting on his time as a student intramural sports official and his career in higher education, Andre comments on the places he would not have otherwise traveled and worldly perspective he has gained as a result. “Now I can identify with folks, I can talk to them about things that are not just about my race. That’s not the focus. We can find something in common to talk about and further break down those barriers.”
When asked what keeps him in the field of recreation after all these years, Andre smiles and easily responds, “I love being on a college campus and being engaged [with students].” His commitment to serving others is clear in everything he does. “We are in a service focused industry. When we forget that, we lose sight of why we are really here and what we are called to do.” Focused on ensuring our facilities, programs and services truly have something for everyone, he comments “It’s a lot easier to plan with people than to try to plan for them. So, getting the rights folks involved, that’s how we remain relevant.”
Although he prefers to be behind the scenes, advocating for and supporting his team, Andre’s humble, confident presence is felt by all. Others describe him as “cool, calm and collected” and a “breath of fresh air.” A creative, solution-oriented leader, Andre is excited by the challenge of what’s next for recreation on a college campus. “As an African American, in most cases you are always taught that you can’t be good enough, you’ve got to be great. A part of that has always driven me to say ‘I can’t just be good; I have to be better than everyone else in everything I do…I’ve never been willing to accept that we can’t do it as an option. How can we safely do it, how can we better do it, how can we recreate it, how can we make it our own and put our own spin on it? That’s always been that driving factor, that motivator.”
Looking ahead, Andre's focus remains on supporting our students, professional staff and the larger Ohio State community. In a short six months, he has shown us the true impact he can and will continue to have. Dr. Shawnté Elbert, Associate Vice President for Health and Well-being and Andre’s direct supervisor, comments, “How I describe Andre is the epitome of leadership, respected, but at the same time, a physical example of what’s possible.”