MISENHEIMER, N.C. - Pfeiffer University will officially retire the jersey of former athletic director and legendary baseball coach Joe Ferebee, who led Pfeiffer’s baseball program from 1958-1987. The ceremony will take place on Sat., April 20, 11:30 a.m., Joseph S. Ferebee Field at Pfeiffer University’s Misenheimer campus (48380 U.S. Hway 52N) immediately prior to baseball doubleheader at noon between the Pfeiffer Falcons and nationally-ranked Mount Olive College.
Coach Ferebee, known affectionately as “the winningest coach in North Carolina baseball history,” won 677 games at Pfeiffer and an additional 694 with various American Legion teams. While at Pfeiffer, he led the Falcons to ten conference championships and five NAIA District crowns; in 1968, Pfeiffer’s baseball team was ranked number two in the nation. Over the course of his career, he coached 42 Pfeiffer ball players to major league contracts.
Elected to no fewer than eight halls of fame, Coach Ferebee is well-known throughout North Carolina for his accomplishments. His hall of fame inductions include North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, Catawba College, Pfeiffer University, North Carolina American Legion Baseball, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, American Coaches Association, Stanly County and Salisbury-Rowan.
“No one in the history of Pfeiffer University athletics has influenced the lives of more young people than Coach Ferebee,” said Jack Ingram ’74, interim athletic director, who was a Pfeiffer student-athlete during Coach Ferebee’s tenure. “He instinctively knew how to bring out the best in his players, who respected him and rose to the challenges of the game under his guidance.”
A native of Mocksville, N.C., Coach Ferebee began his coaching career in 1947 at Salisbury High School after service in the U.S. Navy during World War II. In 1955, he coached Salisbury to the state 3A championship. The same year, his Salisbury-Rowan American Legion team won the state crown, finishing third in the national playoffs. Ferebee is credited with putting Salisbury-Rowan on the American Legion map by leading them to three North Carolina state titles, four 2nd place finishes and 15 area championships.
In 1969 and 1971, Coach Ferebee received the Governor’s Award for his contributions to youth baseball; in 1988 he was honored by the Raleigh Hot Stove League. Including 13 years as a professional baseball scout, Ferebee spent a total of 41 years in the game.
Now 94, Coach Ferebee is a fixture on Pfeiffer’s campus and in the cafeteria where he still visits every day for lunch. After the 2013 baseball season, his familiar #23 baseball jersey will never again be worn by a Pfeiffer student-athlete.