WILMINGTON — Two remarkable, impactful careers in sports and business came to rest with the passing of Al Pastore from Parkinson’s disease on December 4, 2022. Born in Brooklyn, New York on September 4, 1947 to Albert and Rose Pastore, Al grew up in Lake Peekskill, New York and graduated from Lakeland High School in 1965.
Al received his BS degree from State University of New York, College at Oneonta in 1969, followed four years later by a Masters Degree in counseling from the same institution. A second Masters in Health Education followed in 1975 from Russell Sage College. Al was appointed Assistant Dean of Students and Residence Hall Director at Oneonta State in 1969, serving 5 years while also contributing as head coach of the newly formed track and field program.
In 1974 Al secured a position with the New York State Department of Education drafting health modules designed for elementary education classrooms. Al then transitioned to the Bureau of Long Term Care in Albany, NY and eventually became its Director, followed in 1978 with an administrative position at Misericordia Hospital in Bronx, NY.
In 1983, Al became a founding partner in Cicero and Pastore Associates, Inc., a healthcare consulting firm. In this position, Al served as CEO and principal consultant to numerous major teaching hospitals, nursing homes and clinics throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Al retired from healthcare in 1997 to pursue his passion and dream of owning a professional soccer team, a goal which ultimately led him to his home in Wilmington, NC and creation of the Wilmington Hammerheads franchise in the USISL soccer league.
Al’s love affair with soccer began in the early 1980’s as he watched his son, Brian, take his first steps on the pitch and a lifelong devotion to the sport quickly followed thereafter. After several successful years establishing and growing the Pelham Youth Soccer program, Al pioneered elite level soccer with the formation of FC Westchester in 1986.
Hundreds of victories later he developed regional premier leagues and began his college coaching journey. Al’s memorable career in youth soccer included the NSCAA’s Youth Long Term Service Award in 2003, induction into the New York State Soccer Hall of Fame, and ultimately recognition as National Youth Soccer Coach of the Year.
During his tenure as an assistant coach for the Duke University soccer program, Al’s biography noted that he had “repeatedly been recognized as one of the most accomplished soccer coaches in the country at any level.” Al’s impact on the development of thousands of young men and women who shared his passion for soccer serves as an indelible legacy of his passion for the sport.
In his final days, Al rallied once more against his illness to follow the accomplishments of a youthful United States Men’s Soccer Team at the World Cup. Al is survived by his wife of 51 years, Catherine, two children, Brian (Elle) of South Salem, NY and Allison (fiancé Adam Thompson) of Wilmington, NC; five grandchildren, Wyatt Workman, Cassidy Workman Faircloth (Charles), Solomon Smith, Alexis and Santino Pastore.
Sisters Carol Mangan of Margate, FL, Linda Hunt of Fishkill, NY and Janice Sibilia of Belgrade, MT survive Al. Preceding him in death were his parents and one sister, Marie Schablien. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Al Pastore’s name to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Foundation (1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401) or the Wilmington Hammerheads Youth Soccer financial aid program that ensures that all children with a passion for the sport of soccer are given every opportunity to participate and succeed.
(Wilmington Hammerheads Scholarship Fund, 404 N. 3rd Street, Suite 201, Wilmington, NC 28401) The family will receive friends on Saturday, December 17 at Andrews Mortuary Valley Chapel in Wilmington from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Plans for a Spring 2023 celebration of Al’s life to be held in New York will be announced later.