Al DiStaola earned his “stripes” as a dedicated official at the high school and college level for two decades.
Prior to becoming a respected basketball and football official, DiStaola was a star athlete in football, basketball and baseball at Christian Brothers Academy. He started officiating in 1946 and throughout his career he worked a number of marquee matchups including several Army vs. Navy football games. DiStaola also officiated the first Notre Dame vs. Boston College football game in 1975.
DiStaola, who worked 23 years with the Syracuse Police Department, was an interpreter and supervisor of officials for IAABO Local Board 38 in high school basketball. He also served as the director of the Syracuse chapter of the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Football Officials.
The IAABO Board 38 renamed a prestigious annual award in honor of DiStaola, the Al DiStaola Memorial Silver Whistle Award. The award is given in recognition of many years of outstanding and exemplary performance officiating boys high school basketball in Central New York as well as New York State level.
1937-1940: Stars on the football, basketball and baseball teams at Christian Brothers Academy; Graduates with nine varsity letters from CBA
1940-1945: Plays on numerous baseball, football and basketball teams, in semi-pro, Army and Industrial leagues
1946-1986: Football and basketball official at the high school and college level
1958-1986: Board of Directors of Blind Men and Criers Association
1974-1976: Director of Syracuse chapter of the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Football Officials
1978: Officiates the Peach Bowl, his last football assignment
1980: Receives the Blind Men and Criers Joe Schwarzer Award
Operated the game clock for the Big East football and basketball games in the Carrier Dome for over fifteen years