Frank Giancroce, who was synonymous with refereeing in Eastern Pennsylvania for over 30 years, passed away on December 31, 2020. He became a licensed referee in 1971 and worked up to a State Referee Level. During this time, Frank handled the lines in multiple North American Soccer League games for the Philadelphia pro teams. Later he would add state assessor and instructor titles to his resume. Soon after that, Frank was appointed to the State Youth Referee Administrator of Eastern Pennsylvania in 1986 and just two years later, the State Referee Administrator –a position he held through 2019.
Frank was one of the longest serving State Referee Administrators in the United States. As an SRA, Frank has implemented programs for the recruitment, training and retention of referees as well as the upgrading of administration at all levels including statistical reporting. Due to these programs, Frank was able to more than double Eastern Pennsylvania’s referee population from 600 to 1,400 in one year (1986-87). Frank served as a member of the National Referee Board from 1993-1995 and was then reappointed in 2009. In 1998 he was appointed as the Region I Youth Referee Administrator, holding the roll for the next twenty years. Frank also served as Referee Liaison in the 1994 and 1999 World Cups as well as coordinated facilities for referee training and physical testing in the 2003 World Cup.
Frank was honored on many occasions for his service. In 1997 he received the Robert Dunn Service Award from the Southeastern PA Soccer coaches Association and he received the USYS Region 1 Administrator of the Year Award in 2004. He was inducted into the US Adult Soccer Association Hall of Fame in 2010; Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association Hall of Fame in 2016 and the US Youth Soccer East Region Hall of Fame in 2017.
Frank was also an accomplished coach working at the high school and club levels. Frank is survived by his Lucia and their children Marco and Gabriella, along with five grandchildren—Marco, Simona, Luca, Gianna and Matteo.