MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Dana Wallace was surprised when he learned he was a hall of famer, but after learning more about his career, it’s not a surprise he was awarded with such an honor.
“When you’re selected by your peers, that means something to you, because they know exactly what you’ve gone through,” said Wallace.
The Haleyville, Alabama, native has traveled the state, leaving his mark on the gridiron, hardwood, and the diamond.
“I got started officiating actually working rec games in high school. They’d pay us $10 per game on Saturdays, which in the 1970′s, that was a lot, but it’s been a good ride. Over 40 years,” he said.
During that 40-plus year career, he says he’s learned lessons that will last a lifetime, but one of the biggest?
“Coaches can push your buttons now, but you have to tune it out. The crowd, the coaches; you just have to learn if you don’t see it clearly, or you’re not sure, don’t blow your whistle,” he said.
Dana is now retired from officiating, but says it will always be a part of him.
“First four years when I retired, we’d go to ball games and I’d miss part of the game, because I was watching the officials,” he said. “I don’t know if you ever truly get it out of your blood. I still read my rules for every sport before the season and during the season.”
After a long and successful career, Dana says he's walked away with a lifetime of memories and relationships.
“I’ve truly been blessed. I’ve made this my life, and I’ve made so many friends,” said Wallace.
“The Haleyville High School graduate who resides in Montgomery officiated football for 21 years, basketball for 18, softball for 21 years and baseball for 15. He officiated in 11 AHSAA state softball tournaments, worked two Super 6 football finals (1996 and 1998), one AHSAA state baseball championship series and served as the AHSAA Southeast District Director for 18 years. He served as president of his local basketball and softball officials associations and was assignor for softball. A volunteer at many AHSAA events, he served on numerous AHSAA officiating committees.
Wallace received the AHSAA Distinguished Service Award for Officials, was selected Official of the Year and was inducted into the Winston County Sports Hall of Fame. Active in ASA softball as well, he worked in the Philippine National Championships. Also s minister, he is also active in his community with membership in the Montgomery Kiwanis Club.”