Orange Coast's Tony Altobelli earns Brass Top Award from sports information directors

Orange Coast College Sports Information Director Tony Altobelli was voted by his peers as the 2020 Brass Top Award winner. (Courtesy Orange Coast College Athletics)
Orange Coast College Sports Information Director Tony Altobelli was selected by his peers as the 2020 Brass Top Award winner. (Courtesy Orange Coast College Athletics)
RIVERSIDE - The California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) has selected Tony Altobelli as the recipient of this year’s Brass Top Award.
Altobelli, who is currently the longest tenured sports information director in Orange Coast College’s 72-year history, is closing in on his 14th year at the helm of OCC’s sports information department. While covering 24 sports with no assistance, which is more than any school has to offer in the state, the veteran SID is tasked with multiple responsibilities such as announcing, stats, music, social media management, feature writing, game management and much more.
He served as the CCCSIA President Elect from 2008-09 before being appointed the President of the association from 2009-11. During his role, he played an integral part in facilitating the transition to Presto Sports which currently handles the majority of the CCCAA websites.
Altobelli acts as the Orange Empire Conference (OEC) lead SID for men’s soccer and baseball which involves writing featured stories and being responsible for postseason awards. He has been responsible for over 350 stories-per-year and approximately 1,000 social media posts-per-year.
He authored a book titled “36 in 26” which was an oral history account of Orange Coast baseball’s 2019 State Championship run. He prides himself on his “old school” SID traits such as writing, game management and assistance at the state level when it relates to championship coverage.
But what sets Altobelli apart from the field is not only his forward thinking, professional nature or his innovation to the craft - it is his ability to step up to the plate and deliver in times of crisis.
When tragedy struck on January 26 and his brother, John Altobelli, was taken from him unexpectedly, he grieved in the best way he could by telling his story. Not hours before OCC baseball’s home opener, Altobelli authored an emotional article titled “Dear John…Thank You…Love, Toad.” It thanks his legendary brother for being the epitome of what a brother is and setting the standard for success both on and off the diamond. The piece reached 6.8K likes on Facebook.
In the midst of his mourning, Altobelli was poised. He wrote a release on the passing of his family members, handled multiple media requests and continued to represent OCC and the SID field in a highly effective manner.
The Brass Top Award is presented annually to someone working in the Sports Information field at the community college level, or someone working closely with members of the CCCSIA, to recognize outstanding service and accomplishments: Bringing Respect And Superior Service To Our Profession. Altobelli becomes the 20th recipient of this award.
All-Time Brass Top Award winners
2001 – Woody Wilk (Fresno City College)
2002 – Jerry Hannula (Saddleback College)
2003 – Dick Hamilton (Coast Valley Conference)
2004 – Robert Schmidt (Riverside City College)
2005 – Fred Baer (JC Athletic Bureau)
2006 – Glenn Haller (Antelope Valley College)
2007 – David Eadie (CCCAA)
2008 – Robert Lewis (Pasadena City College)
2009 – John Van Gaston (Cerritos College)
2010 – John Czimbal (statistician/consultant)
2011 – Pete Schuler (Cuesta College)
2012 – Pat Kelly (Merced College)
2013 – Jason Boggs (CCCAA)
2014 – Jason Kehler (Santa Ana College)
2015 – Chris Ruiz (Long Beach City College)
2016 – Andrew Wheeler (Citrus College)
2017 – Eric Mendoza (West Hills College – Coalinga)
2018 – David Silverstein (Butte College / Big 8 Conference)
2019 - Wes McCurtis (Cypress College)
2020  - TONY ALTOBELLI  (Orange Coast College)
(Nicho DellaValle, Riverside City College)