ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - One of the greatest of all-time. Those words apply to Joseph Starette Ferebee, a legendary baseball coach who taught generations of boys the fine points of the game, as well as the what it means to have character and integrity.
“Coach Joe Ferebee, one of the legends of NC baseball and an amazing guy, passed away today," tweeted Mike London of the Salisbury Post. "He was 101. For all the baseball coaching wins, and there were more than 1,400 between Pfeiffer, American Legion and high school, he was prouder of his military service in WW II.”
He won 677 games with Pfeiffer University and 694 with American Legion teams, most notably with the Rowan County team that he built into a powerhouse that is still respected and feared across the state.
Coach Ferebee’s teams won three American Legion state championships.
“So proud that I got to be coached by this man,” wrote former player Tim Holshouser. “He was a Legend in my book. My deepest sympathy and prayers to the family!”
A World War II veteran, his coaching career began at Salisbury High after his discharge from the US Navy in 1947.
Ferebee has been elected to eight Halls of Fame: North Carolina Hall of Fame, including Catawba College, Pfeiffer University, North Carolina American Legion Baseball, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, the American Coaches Association, the Stanly County, and the Rowan County Sports Hall of Fame.
Ferebee was the longtime coach at Pfeiffer University in Stanly County, which named its baseball field Joe Ferebee Field, from 1958 to 1987.
Ferebee held the record for most American Legion games won from 1989 until May 30, 2015.