Farthing Going Into Fayetteville Sports Hall

• Dunn native coached at Pine Forest High School in Linden for more than two decades.
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By SHAUN SAVARESE
Of The Record Staff

Dunn’s own Jim Farthing will be inducted to the Fayetteville Sports Club Hall of Fame on March 7. He coached three sports at Cumberland County’s Pine Forest High School for more than two decades.

Farthing
Farthing

He went to school at Dunn High School, where he played three sports: baseball, basketball and football. He was a first baseman and outfielder, a basketball forward and a fullback and wingback. “I thought — in my younger days — that I could play all my life,” he said. “I enjoyed it.”

He attended college at UNC Chapel Hill, was drafted into the Korean War in September 1952 and fought in the battle of Fort Jackson.

After serving two years in the Army, he and his wife, Rosalyn, moved to Linden. He taught and coached for two years before a new building was built for the students of Pine Forest.

In 1954 until 1956, he coached boys basketball without the benefit of a gymnasium. “There was no gym in Linden,” he said, “We had to practice outdoors.”

The Linden basketball team needed to play all games on location because they had no home site, and Mr. Farthing admitted they didn’t fare very well competitively. “Not in those years,” he said, “I think we had one win.”

In 1956, the district commissioned a new building, where Mr. Farthing would coach and teach history and physical education for 16 years. The school moved again in 1972. That was where Mr. Farthing would finish his high school coaching and teaching career, retiring in 1982.

Despite a “rocky” start, he won 245 games in his 18 years as head basketball coach at Pine Forest High School. His last year as coach was 1972.

“We had five or six 20-win seasons,” Farthing said. They went to the conference playoffs several years and once to the “final four,” where they were eliminated in double overtime.

He was an assistant football coach for a decade and coached baseball for 26 out of his 28 years.

“The most challenging thing — and I don’t know that you teach it — I believe is hitting a baseball,” he said. “That’s the most challenging thing.”

He had several athletes go on to play AA and AAA baseball. He coached junior varsity and girls basketball, as well as two perfect seasons in softball.

“The most enjoyable thing was working with the boys,” he said. “I was probably a little hard-headed — we didn’t stop practicing until we got one particular thing right.”

He said he would try to be a “friend” until he needed not to be.

“We had a lot of fun,” he said, “but I always tried to impress on my boys that you’ll have a lot more fun when you’re winning. Winning goes hand-in-hand with enjoyment.”

Mr. Farthing went on to work at Campbell University for 25 year, as director of graduate admissions for the business and education programs.

He and his wife have a son, Jimmy Farthing III of Greensboro, and a daughter, Lucille Smith of Dunn. They have two grandchildren, Whitney and Michelle, and a great-grandchild named Piper.

When asked if he wanted to thank anyone who helped him get to this point along the way, Mr. Farthing said, “There are so many that had a part in it, I would be afraid to even name names.”

The banquet honoring this year’s class will be held Wednesday, March 7, at Highland Country Club. There will be a social beginning at 6:30 p.m. followed by the banquet at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50. They are available from Ashley Petroski at Nobles Pound Financial, 1315 Fort Bragg Road, Fayetteville, 28305. The phone is 910-323-9195. Credit cards and cash will be accepted. Checks should be made payable to the Fayetteville Sports Club.

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