Award Winners and Legends

Capital District Football Official Award Winners

Please note we are filling in holes in our historical record.  If you are aware of past winner who are not listed or believe an error has been made, please send a note of correction. 

J. Hal Wittner Award

This award is the highest honor awarded by the Capital District. This award is given when the organization decides to recognize the lifetime of achievement provided by the selected official.  Learn more about J. Hal Wittner here. 

2022:  Michael Nicastro
2021:  Gerald Buchanan
2020: Fred Guzielek
2019:  No award
2018:  Mark Anderson

2016:  Chris Rusiecki
2014:  Bill Bennison
2013: John Keenan 
2012:  Joe Friers
2010:  Rich Hofstetter
2006: Mike Van Allen
2005: Gene Fitzpatrick 
2004: Charles Seyffer
2003: Dale Wotherspoon
2002: Alexander (Sandy) Brousseau
2000: Ron Wotherspoon
1984: Tommy Brennan
1972:  Dominic J. Denio

Other known recipients (year unknown): 

  • Fritz Brownell
  • Jim Cole 
  • Willard Doran
  • William Higgins
  • Roy Mesick
  • Hilton Perez
  • Dan Sullivan
  • Jack Tudico
  • Terry Ulion
  • Andrew Yager

Denio-Doran Award

This award is given to a Capital District Associate official rising to active status who is recognized for their outstanding promise.  Learn more about Dominic Denio or Willard Doran

2022: No Award

2019: Rhian Cleare

2016:  Ted Minissale

2013:  Matt Redden


2007: Bill Kline

2004:  Eric Lewis

2001: Joe Umholtz




2021: Jeremy Ortiz

2018:  J.R. Katinas

2015: David Bach

2012: Bob Lynch


2006: Jeff Muha 

2003:  Sean Geraghty





2020:  No Award (COVID season)

2017:  Tony Gallo

2014:  Steve Hopsicker

2011: Shawn Murray


2005: John Kilian

2002:  Tony Fullana


1996: Chris Junjulas



NYS Merit Award

This award is given by the NYS Certified Football Officials Association to recognize officials with at least 15 years of service who exemplify the highest caliber of officiating skills and given back to the organization to support other officials.  Officials who receive this award have their names inscribed in a plaque which is located at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. 

  • 2022:  Jason Capogna, Randy O'Neil, Joseph Waters
  • 2020:  Walter Foust, Vince Hoff, Walt Lippmann
  • 2018:  Joseph Friers, Chris Rusiecki, Bruce Walcott
  • 2016:  Chris Junjulas, Kris Thompson, Troy Weldy
  • 2014:   Russ Knight, Michael Nicastro, Andy Yager
  • 2012:   Bob Brock, Daniel Hackett, John Keenan
  • 2010:   Gerry Buchanan, Steve Ludwin, Bob Vogt
  • 2008:  Mike Brady, Fritz Brownell, Bill Levy
  • 2006:  Michael Gallo, Gino Marotta, Dale Wotherspoon
  • 2004:  Vince Catalfamo, Paul Hoole, Larry Vecchio
  • 2002:  Bill Bennison, Bill Cowan, Steve Waters
  • 2001:   Kevin Perrotte, James Sprung, Ronald Vero
  • 2000:  William Higgins, Rich Hofstetter, John Piscitella
  • 1999:  David Kulzer, Paul Mango, Hilton Perez
  • 1998:  Sandy Brousseau, Larry Novak, Ron Wotherspoon
  • 1997:  Joe Moseley, Dan Sullivan, Charles Tangredi
  • 1996:  John Bogdan, Joe Chrywaty, Jim Simmons
  • 1995:  Al Cyr, Michael Lynch, Nick Pollotta
  • 1994:  Roy Messick, Jack Tudico, Terry Ulion
  • 1993:  Richard Bartis, Eugene Fitzpatrick, John Parente
  • 1992:  Gene Bankowski, Lou Mineau, Dan Sullivan
  • 1991:  Ron Bulley, Charles Seyffer, John Warner
  • 1990:  Nero Jones, Jack Kuhn, Lou Mineau
  • 1989:  James Cole, James Hourigan, Jack Tudico
  • 1988:  Art Alvarez, Tom Cowell, Rod O'Connor
  • 1987:  J. Willard Doran, Tom O'Connor, Al Taylor
  • 1986:  J. Thomas Brennan, Joe Caruso, John Coakley, J. Emmet 'Flip' Dowling, Chris Farrell, Mike Nagle, Cornelius 'Joe' Nolan, Edward Pickens, Nick Rieg, Pete Shula, Robert Woods
  • 1985:  Dan Cafarelli, Rod O'Connor, John Soffey
  • 1984:  William Connolly, Dom Denio, Larry Grimes

Members of the Capital District Football Hall of Fame

The Capital District Football Hall of Fame has recognized a number of football officials for their outstanding contributions to the sport of football.  These officials include: 

Class of 2023: Joe Cowell (Capital District Chapter), Leo Flynn (Adirondack Chapter)

Class of 2021: Dar Rivers (Adirondack Chapter) and Bob Woods (Capital District Chapter)

Class of 2019: William Higgins (Capital District Chapter)

Class of 2018: Dale Wotherspoon (Capital District Chapter)

Class of 2017:  Chuck Bemis (Adirondack Chapter)

Class of 2016:  Sandy Brousseau (Capital District Chapter)

Class of 2015:  Frank Green (Adirondack Chapter), Joe Moseley (Capital District Chapter)

Class of 2014:  Mike Aquino (Capital District Chapter), Chris Junjulas (Capital District Chapter)

Class of 2013:  Mike Cronin (Adirondack Chapter), Matt Fitzgerald (Capital District Chapter)

Class of 2012:  Jack Cramer (Capital District), Morris Nassivera (Adirondack), Thomas Brennan (Capital District)

Class of 2011:  John Soffey (Capital District Chapter), Lew Varney (Adirondack Chapter)

Class of 2010:  Bernie Cronin (Adirondack Chapter), Dom Denio (Capital District Chapter), Willard Doran (Capital District Chapter), Paul Shaver (Adirondack Chapter)

National Football Foundation - Distinguished American Award

This award is given by the National Football Foundation - College Football Hall of Fame to recognize the significant contributions made to the sport of football within Section 2.  This award often goes to business leaders, political leaders, members of the media and major donors.  A few football officials who have stood out within Section 2 have also received this award over the years. 

2016:  Paul Bricoccoli

1997: William D. Higgins

National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Outstanding Official Awardees

The Capital District Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame recognizes the important role that officials play in supporting the development of student athletes. One way they do this is through the Outstanding Official Award given to a standout official who has achieved great success through their officiating career. Past recipients of this award include:

2021: Charles Seyffer
2018: Sean Geraghty
2016: Bill Bennison
2014: Terry Ulion

2012: Eugene Fitzpatrick
2010: Michael Aquino
2008: Chris Junjulas
2006: Marty Harrington
2004: Matt Fitzgerald
2002: Hilton Perez
2000: Jack Cramer
1998: Michael Nagle
1996: Tom Brennan
1994: Frank Green
1992: Muff Massiverra
1990: Larry Grimes
1988: John Soffey

2022: Joe Pezzulo

2019: Leo Flynn

2017: Mark Harrison

2015: Jack Wooding
2013: Jeff Brayman
2011: Bob Collins
2009: Mike Cronin
2007: Terry Taylor
2005: Charles Bemis
2003: Bo Battari
2001: Dick Bailey
1999: Paul Shaver
1997: Lew Varney
1995: Bernie Cronin
1993: Rod O'Connor
1991: J. Willard Doran
1989: Dom Denio

American Football Association 

Semi-Pro Football

Hall of Fame, Canton, OH

CDFOA Officials have the opportunity to work youth games and semi-pro games.  Many of our officials have made great contributions towards semi-pro football and have been inducted into the AFA Hall in Fame in Canton, Ohio. 

2019:  Larry Vecchio

2017:  Dale Wotherspoon

2015:  Joe Friers

2007:  Mike Aquino

2006:  Fritz Brownell

2004:  Ron Wotherspoon

1999:  William Higgins