Diles, a native of Middleport, died Saturday night at his home in Athens. He was 78. He suffered a stroke in April and had been in failing health since then.
Diles received his first taste of the media business as a 13-year old delivering newspapers in his hometown. Later, after attending Ohio University, he worked for the Athens Messenger before moving on to work for the Associated Press. He served with the AP in Columbus and Detroit. It was while he was working in Detroit that he switched gears and pursued a career in television, first at WXYZ-TV in Detroit and later on the national scene with ABC-TV.
Diles was the longtime host of ABC’s “Prudential College Football Scoreboard Show.” In two decades with ABC Sports, Diles covered the Olympics, the Indy 500 and hosted “Wide World of Sports.” He also served as the play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Lions and Pistons and Ohio State University basketball.
Diles was named AP Sportscaster of the Year on three occasions and was also honored by Sport Magazine, the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. He is a member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. Ohio University presented him with its Distinguished Alumni Award.
Locally, Diles established a scholarship for Bend Area students at Ohio University and served on the University of Rio Grande Board of Trustees. Dave Diles Park in Middleport is named in his honor.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at The Plains United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Dave Diles Scholarship Fund, Box 289, Pomeroy, OH 45769, or Appalachian Community VNA Hospice and Health Services, Inc., 30 Herrold Ave., Athens, OH 45701.