Richard "Dick" Pace
Richard "Dick" Pace devoted 35 years to high school officiating in Florida, working 1,100 regular season football games and 1,300 regular season basketball games.
Pace, known as "Mr. Official," also worked five state football championship games and 23 state basketball tournaments.
Pace, a Florida native, began his officiating career in 1950 and retired from active officiating in 1985. He currently serves as an advisor/observer for the Central Florida Officials Association, which he helped found.
In football, Pace worked 15 district championships, 12 regional championships, six sectional championships and five FHSAA all-star games. In basketball, he worked 75 district contests, 40 regional games, 10 sectional championships, and 17 consecutive state tournaments among his 23 total.
Pace also was a Southeastern Conference football and basketball official for almost 30 years, and he was an official in 23 bowl games, including six Tangerine Bowls, four Orange Bowls and four Gator Bowls.
He is a past supervisor of officials for the Sun Belt Conference and the Sunshine State Conference. He has officiated three NCAA basketball tournaments and four National Junior College Athletic Association tournaments.
His off-the-field accomplishments include the development of a recruiting and training program for officials that is run through community school evening programs and the junior colleges, both for credit and non-credit.
Pace was inducted into the Florida Citrus Bowl Hall of Fame in 1981, the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 1985, and the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.
Pace was born June 12, 1928, in Tavares, and now lives in Maitland, where he owns and operates Pace Insurance Company.