For Joseph Reitz, football is not the most important thing in life. The former offensive lineman for the Indianapolis Colts says it’s not what he lives for. “First, it’s my faith,” says Joe. “That’s always number one. Next, is my family. Then, it’s football.”
Joe got his start playing both basketball and football at Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Indiana. He was chosen to the Indiana All Star Basketball team following his senior season. But rather than play football in college, he chose basketball playing center at Western Michigan University, in the Mid-American Conference. Joe was chosen to the academic All-MAC team three years and was named an academic All-America twice. When Joe ended his four-year career at WMU in 2008, he ranked as the program’s 3rd all-time leading scorer and rebounder. He figured it was either a few years playing basketball in Europe, or a career in finance, his major in college.
Joe didn’t count on getting a call from the Baltimore Ravens, where he joined them as a free agent, ultimately ending up on their practice squad. He spent two years on the Ravens’ practice squad before being released and landing with the Indianapolis Colts in the fall of 2010. Joe credits his commitment to working hard that saw him go from such an unlikely position — an underweight, undrafted free agent who hadn’t played a single down of college football – to a starting offensive lineman for the Colts. Over his 7 seasons with his hometown team, Joe has appeared in 77 games, starting 44 at both guard and tackle. He retired in after the 2016 season, one in which he was voted the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
Joe also brings the same dedication to his family. During his free time, Joe loves spending time with his wife Jill and 5 children: Juliana, AJ, Virginia, Johnny and Hannah.
Joe has continued to further his education while playing, taking advantage of the programs that the NFL offers. He completed the Business Management & Entrepreneurship program at Notre Dame (2014), the Michigan Ross Business Academy (2017) and graduated in February from the IU Kelley Business School with his MBA.
But it’s his faith — the first F — that Joe builds his life on. Joe loves to recite this quote, “Football is what I do. It’s not who I am. My first responsibility is to God, to be a loving and servant Catholic Christian. My second is to my wife and my children. Third comes work, sports, and my own hobbies and interests.”
He, and his wife Jill, are both active in their local church, Our Lady Mount Carmel, participating in marriage preparation classes and other service projects. Joe also makes sure he spends time in his hometown serving the community. He does sports camps at area churches, speaks to Christian groups around the area, is active in the All-Pro Dad’s organization and enjoys speaking to adults and children alike about his Three F’s of life.
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