Joe Reitz: From Football to Basketball to Football Again

Several famous residents of Fishers, Indiana play basketball (Dahntay Jones, Austin Croshere, Reggie Miller), and severals other play or coach football (Rosevelt Colvin, John Teerlinck), but only two of them have played both: Rosevelt Colvin and Joe Reitz. Reitz was a master of the most Hoosier of all sports during his tenure at Western Michigan University, but after his graduation he decided to pursue professional football as a career. So far, Reitz hasn’t seen much playing time, but he recently joined the Indianapolis Colts and should see some action in the near future.

Joe Reitz was born in Indianapolis in 1985, but he grew up in Fishers, Indiana. He attended Hamilton Southeastern High School, a Fishers school, where he played football. He experienced his first football success at Hamilton Southeastern; he was voted to the All-State team his senior year. However, when he went to college, Reitz decided to try his hand at college basketball. He attended Western Michigan University, where he quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with. In his senior year, Joe Reitz helped lead Western Michigan to a Mid-American West Division title. He was named First Team All-MAC and was a member of the Academic All-MAC team. During the course of his basketball career at Western Michigan University, Reitz became the third all-time leading scorer and rebounder at the school; he has played in more games than any other player in the university’s history.

Video of Fishers, Indiana native Joe Reitz and Derek Drews and a Western Michigan University press conference


After his success in college basketball, you would think that Joe Reitz would stick to hoops. After his graduation from WMU, however, Reitz decided to see if he could recapture his high school excellence in football. He entered the draft in 2008, but wasn’t picked up by any team. However, later that year he was signed on to the Baltimore Ravens practice squad. Unfortunately, he never got off the practice squad: he sustained an injury to his shoulder in October of 2008, placing him on injured reserve and ending his season. Joe Reitz was re-signed by the Ravens in 2009, again on the practice squad, but was cut on September 4, 2010.

Video of Fishers, Indiana native Joe Reitz showing why gaining 70 pounds for NFL football can diminish your jumping skills


After his short time with the Ravens, Joe Reitz was picked up by the Miami Dolphins, only to be waived three days later. Fortunately for Reitz, the Circle City came calling shortly after he was dropped by the Dolphins. Reitz signed to the practice squad of the Indianapolis Colts in September of 2010. In a text message interview remark to the Kalamazoo Review (original article), Reitz said “It’s a dream come true to be able to come home and play for the Colts.” So far in the 2010-2011 season, Joe Reitz hasn’t seen any action with the Colts, though he’s been active on the practice squad.

It’s incredibly hard to succeed at two sports, especially two as demanding as basketball and football. Famous Fishers person Joe Reitz has done pretty well at juggling both sports, however. He played well in football during his time at Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, dominated the court at Western Michigan University in basketball, and switched gears to the NFL in 2008. Though Joe Reitz has yet to do anything of note in the NFL, he hasn’t really been given a chance. Hopefully his native status in Indy will help elevate Reitz to a starting position with his longtime favorite team at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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