Joe Segrest is eminently qualified to join the ranks of those local stalwarts who have preceded him into the Waycross-Ware County Sports Hall of Fame. Without a doubt, he was one of the very best coaches in the storied history of the Waycross Recreation Department.
He was an outstanding coach in baseball and football but it was on the gridiron that his charges excelled.
Joe began as an assistant to Bit Tanner (who is in the Hall of Fame) at William Heights in 1955. After two years there, he moved to Isabella where he was head coach for fours years 1957-1960. He took a program that had fallen on hard times and made them contenders once again. The 1958 team finished third with a 5-2 record and the 1960 squad came in second with a 6-1 record.
Joe moved to Alice Street School & coached there for about 14 years. During that time, Alice Street won eight midget league titles. Championships were won in 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972 and 1974.
His 1965-67 teams won three straight league championships which was a recreation department record at that time and might still be unbroken. The Eagles had a 24 game winning streak during those years which was also a record.
While Joe’s record is a testament to his coaching skills what is even more remarkable is the manner in which he accomplished that success and the influence he had on his players. The hallmark of his coaching style was integrity. He not only taught the fundamentals of the game but instilled a determination to always give your best effort and never give up.
Ask any of the hundreds of youngsters who played for or against his teams and the respect they had for him will be obvious. Joe was a winner.
Joe was married to Edmee Knox Segrest and they have a son, Rory Segrest a standout for Waycross High School and the Alabama Crimsom Tide