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February 7, 2014
Ferebee Hired at Indian River
Glenwood Ferebee is returning to the High School Football coaching ranks. After a one-year stint in College Football at Hampton University, Ferebee has accepted the job as Head Coach of the Indian River Braves in Chesapeake, VA.
At Indian River, Ferebee replaces Cadillac Harris, who stepped down in December after going 56-71 in 12 seasons at the helm of the Braves, highlighted by winning the Eastern Region Division 5 title in 2003.
"Coach Harris coached me in High School and I played against Indian River one year, so I always knew they were talented. From recruiting the area, I also knew they were a young team," Ferebee told VirginiaPreps.com.
Ferebee, 36, was the starting quarterback for Coach Harris at Green Run High School, where he threw passes to Plaxico Burress, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLII (42) for the New York Giants. In college, he played at Liberty University, transitioning from playing quarterback to wide receiver for the Flames.
Indian River having a star in the making heading to the tenth grade certainly didn't hurt in luring Ferebee to the job. But there were other factors as well.
"The Devon Hunter kid is probably going to be one of the top kids in the country by the time he is done. They have a bunch of young linemen, about five or six kids that are roughly 280-290 pounds, and that was the big thing that attracted me to the job," he said. "Not too many people can say that and we struggled with that over at Lakeland. The J.V. team was pretty young, fast and quick with a lot of athletes."
Initially, Ferebee was hired in January of 2013 by Hampton University to be the quarterbacks coach and was then promoted to offensive coordinator before the team's season opener. The Pirates ended up going 4-8 overall and dismissed the entire coaching staff, including Head Coach Donovan Rose.
Reflecting on his time at HU, Ferebee admitted it was a challenging situation from the very beginning.
"I knew going into it that something wasn't right. They had five offensive coordinators before me, and a lot of things I asked for to be done while I was there didn't get done, which caused some struggles," he noted. "I've grown from being in College Football, even before I became the offensive coordinator at Hampton. I learned a lot from Earnest Wilson, who's at Savannah State, mostly about concepts and practicing."
Among the things that he took from his time at HU the most were that organizational skills and time management are essential aspects of having success in coaching.
"Coming from High School and going to college, the transition was a little different. It wasn't so much with x's and o's because I think football is football, but in just being able to be on a staff where everybody gets along and is on the same page. The thing I want to bring to the Indian River program is that we're more organized as a staff, everybody is going to be on the same page and do everything professionally, which we did some of that at Lakeland, but we want to do that even better," commented Ferebee.
"Being in college and on the recruiting trail, you see some of the top schools like Ocean Lakes, Oscar Smith, Lake Braddock, Westfield, Osbourn, C.D. Hylton and see how some of those guys run their actual program. It was a little different than the way I did mine. All of them had the same type of identity, where everything was organized and done professionally so that the kids buy into what you're doing when it comes to discipline and what's expected of them."
This is the second re-building gig for Ferebee. In five seasons at Lakeland, Ferebee went 24-29. Following a winless campaign in 2010, the Cavs posted a 15-8 record that saw the program make its first ever trip to the regional playoffs as a Group AAA school. They returned the very next year to the playoffs, beating city rival King's Fork in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual State Champion Lake Taylor in the semis.
The last winning season for Indian River was in 2008 when they finished 7-4 overall. It also was their last playoff appearance. What seems very clear is that the Braves plan to make Hunter, a versatile Class of 2017 prospect who was named Second Team All-Conference as a freshman, the focal point in their effort to turn things around.
"At Indian River, we're going to run the same type of offense I'm used to and a lot is going to depend on what Devon Hunter brings to the table. He plays quarterback, wide receiver and the good part is he can play both. From watching him on film, you can see what a superb athlete he is," Ferebee stated.
"It'll be spread concepts and you might see some things similar to Auburn since Devon can run the football, and that's if he plays quarterback. There are some kids coming up from J.V. that are pretty good. It's the same type of athletes I had at Lakeland and the only difference is we have offensive linemen with size now."
Matthew Hatfield has covered football and basketball since 2004 for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and don't forget to listen to him every Saturday at 10AM on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.