Enshrined : 2007 (Posthumous)
New Haven Football Officials
If Vin Reilly was the heart of the New Haven Football Officials Association, Fred T. Ghirardini was its soul. For
45 years, the diminutive Ghirardini traversed high school and college fields, then moved to the press box, but
always stayed focused on making officials better.
A great communicator, Ghirardini worked with hundreds of new and veteran officials and led by example.
He philosophy of "letting the game call itself" was one he preached tirelessly. A former president, Ghirardini
served several terms as a director with the New Haven group.
A member of the Eastern Association of Collegiate Football Officials, Fred worked many games all over the
northeast, including Holy Cross, Army, Yale and Harvard as a back judge and field judge (now called line
judge). He was a founding member of the EAIFO's Connecticut Chapter.
A top-ranked baseball umpire, Ghirardini worked many Division I and II games as well as thousands of high
school games through a long career. Fred taught the art of officiating rather than mechanics, and nurtured
many young officials who went on to establish themselves as solid arbiters on the high school and college levels.
Coaches always new with Ghirardini they would get a well worked game and a fair shake.
He worked seven championship games for the CIAC before he retired to the press box. He was a delegate
to the state board for several terms over his career. A scholarship is named in his honor, given by the Vincent
J. Reilly-NHFOA. Among his awards was the Gene Casey-New Haven Football Foundation and Hall of fame,
and NHFOA Alumni Award.