Ruskell was born in Sagamiono, Japan where his father was stationed in the United States Army but spent his high school and college years in the Tampa Bay, Florida area and graduated with a degree in communications from the University of South Florida in 1978.
Ruskell has spent more than 20 years in professional football. He started his career as a scout for the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1983, moving to the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits in 1985 before landing in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987. In 1992 he was promoted to Director of College Scouting, and in 2001 to Director of Player Personnel. While in Tampa Bay Ruskell was a protégé of Rich McKay. When McKay left to become the President and General Manager of the Atlanta Falcons in 2004 Ruskell went with him as the Assistant General Manager. In 2005 Paul Allen tapped Ruskell to replace the fired Bob Whitsitt at the top of the organizational chart in Seattle.
In his first season in Seattle, Ruskell made a few roster changes that helped the Seahawks, bringing in free agents and drafting college players that played pivotal roles in the Seahawks run to Super Bowl XL. However, the team's record gradually declined over the next four seasons. Ruskell eventually was forced to resign from his position as the Seahawks President of Football Operations on December 2, 2009. At the time, the Seahawks were 4-7 and finished with a 4-12 record the year before.
Ruskell joined the staff of the Tennessee Titans as a college scout in 2012.
Tim and his wife, Linda, have a daughter, Samantha, and a son, Jack. Tim has a nephew, Michael, who is currently studying at the University of Georgia. He also has another nephew, Mark, who is an American college football offensive lineman for the Georgia State University Panthers.
- Sando, Mike (2009-12-03). "Sources: Seahawks GM out". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
- "Bears to interview four GM candidates". Chicagobears.com. 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
- "Ruskell interviews for Bears' GM job". Chicagobears.com. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
- Titans, Tennessee. "Football Operations Staff". Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- "Tim Ruskell: Atlanta Falcons bio". Atlanta Falcons. Archived from the original on September 13, 2006. Retrieved August 16, 2006.
- Mike Sando (2006). "Ruskell scales NFL after unlikely journey". News Tribune. Archived from the original on July 18, 2006. Retrieved August 16, 2006.
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