Joe Ferebee owns two remarkable state achievements that will be difficult to match. Ferebee, retired athletic director and baseball coach at Pfeiffer University, set one record as the winningest baseball coach in North Carolina history with 1,438 victories. His American Legion teams won 694 games — a state record– and his college teams captured 677 — also a state record.
At the same time, the 83-year-old Ferebee probably has been elected to more Sports Hall of Fames than any other sports figure in North Carolina.
With his induction into the North Carolina Hall of Fame, he now is a member of eight Hall of Fames. They are Catawba College, Pfeiffer University, North Carolina American Legion Baseball, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, American Coaches Association, Stanly County and Salisbury-Rowan.
Ferebee did not think much about coaching when he was graduated from Mocksville High where he played sports with and along side of his cousin, the late Tom Ferebee, who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, ending World War II.
Ferebee earned all-star honors in baseball, football and basketball at Catawba College. At graduation, he was presented the school’s award as the top athlete and the senior outstanding student award.
He began his coaching career in 1947 at Salisbury High, following service in the Navy during World War II. He coached Salisbury to the state 3A championship in 1955. He also coached the Salisbury-Rowan American Legion team, winning the state crown in 1955. His team finished third in the national playoffs that year.
Ferebee is credited with putting Salisbury-Rowan on the American Legion map in North Carolina. His teams won three North Carolina titles and finished second on four occasions. They also claimed 15 area championships.
Ferebee received the Governor’s Award for his contribution to youth baseball in 1969 and ’71. He was honored by the Raleigh Hot Stove League in 1988 for his contribution to baseball.
The Mocksville native also compiled an impressive record at Pfeiffer, guiding the Falcons to 10 conference championships and five NAIA District crowns. He also led Pfeiffer to the national finals one season and the 1968 Pfeiffer team was ranked No. 2 in the nation. During a time that larger colleges would play smaller colleges, coach Ferebee’s boys would always hold their own.
A testament to the quality of players that coach Ferebee developed at Pfeiffer is the fact that 42 of them signed contracts with major league organizations. Several of those players performed in the big leagues, with a number of them reaching the AAA and AA levels.
Ferebee also scouted baseball for professional baseball for 13 years. He spent 41 years in the game. He lives with wife Melba in Misenheimer, close to the Pfeiffer University community. They have four children. and six grandchildren.
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