Joe Rider

Contest Official
Inducted 2010

A deep passion for football sparked Joe Rider's interest in an avocation that has lasted 35 years and inspired countless others.

The Mattoon, Ill., native attended Reitz Memorial High School in Evansville, Ind., where he was a four-year letterman in football. After high school, Rider attended Bradley University, where he played an additional four years of football and received his bachelor’s degree in business administration. After college, he continued his passion for football, playing three years in the Continental Football League.

Since 1970, Rider has been a contest official, and has officiated games in high school, college, the Arena Football League and the NFL. As a high school official, he has officiated more than 300 football games and more than 120 basketball games. Rider has also been a part of numerous FHSAA playoff crews and has officiated two state finals.

He is currently an active FHSAA football official in his 35th year, and primarily works local freshman and junior varsity football games. Rider also serves as a replay official for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

He is a co-founder of the Royal Palm Football Officials Association in Fort Myers, and has served as the president for the association, as well as the South Gulf Football Officials Association. In 2005, Rider received a certificate from the FHSAA commemorating his more than 35 years of service as a contest official.