Delta State University and the Department of Athletics are erecting a statue in honor of legendary baseball Coach Dave “Boo” Ferriss in recognition of his decades of commitment to the Green and White.
The life-size statue, created by renowned Mississippi artist Kim Sessums, will feature Ferriss in his Delta State uniform and will be placed behind the grandstand this fall after renovations are complete at the baseball complex named in his honor. The statue dedication is scheduled for Oct. 3.
Athletic Director Ronnie Mayers said the statue is an appropriate way to pay tribute to a coach who had an illustrious career at Delta State.
“As a friend of Delta State University Athletics, you already know the impact that Coach Ferriss has had on the Delta State baseball program, and also for the game on the state, regional and national levels,” said Mayers. “What truly makes this man worthy of having a statue erected on the Delta State campus is reflected in the time he has always taken to know his players and fans so well — something he has continued to do in the years since he last hung up his uniform.”
Ferriss retired from Delta State following the 1988 season, but he continues to be a tireless supporter at all levels of baseball throughout the state and especially for his beloved Statesmen.
While he is known locally as the legendary Statesmen baseball, Ferriss also became a Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer.
The Shaw, Miss. native spent 46 years in baseball on the collegiate and professional levels, including 26 seasons at Delta State. A legend in national collegiate baseball coaching circles, Ferriss was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1988 in Atlanta, Ga.
He compiled a 639-387-8 record at Delta State, and his coaching record ranks him among all-time national coaching leaders at the NCAA Division II level. His 1988 team was ranked 9th nationally in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
When Ferriss took over the DSU baseball program in 1960, he started it from the ground level. The Statesmen played many of their games off campus and Ferriss coached without the benefit of an assistant. He directed teams to the NCAA Division II Playoffs in eight of his last 12 years, including three trips to the NCAA Division II championships where the Statesmen finished third, second and third respectively in 1977, 1978 and 1982.
Gulf South Conference championships came in 1978, 1979, 1985 and 1988, with the Statesmen finishing second in 1981 and third in 1982. Forty-nine of his players earned All-Gulf South Conference honors.
Ferriss also earned several honors for his coaching accomplishments. In 1988, he received the United States Baseball Federation Service Award for his contributions to the game. He was named NCAA Regional Coach of the Year three times while also earning Gulf South Conference coaching honors three times.
In 1978 and 1982 he was selected as College Baseball Coach of the Year in Mississippi and was runner-up in that category in 1985.
In 2007, University Archivist Emily Jones helped pay tribute to Ferriss’s remarkable career by establishing The Dave “Boo” Ferriss Museum, which is housed inside the Robert L. Crawford Center adjacent to the baseball field.
“This statue is really going to tie everything together,” said Jones. “It will let everyone know right where they are — at the field named in his honor, the museum to the side and now the statue. Everyone is going to feel welcomed.”
Mayers encouraged fans and Delta State supporters to take part in the community effort to raise money for the statue fund.
“We invite you to be a part of this momentous occasion by contributing to the Ferriss Statue Fund,” said Mayers. “Along with your donation, we encourage you to jot down a fond memory to be shared with coach and Mrs. Ferriss.
“Coach Ferriss has given us more than 55 years of service and memories here at Delta State. Don’t miss this opportunity to support this overdue tribute and to share in honoring this legendary coach and man.”
To donate to the Coach Dave “Boo” Ferriss Statue Fund, visit https://www.deltastategiving.org/Fund/Give/678. For more information, contact The Delta State University Foundation 662-846-4704.