Ferraiolo, longtime baseball coach at Bonner-Prendergast, dies at 81

Posted: August 06, 2014

LONGTIME Bonner-Prendergast High assistant baseball coach Gene Ferraiolo died Saturday night at Taylor Hospice in Ridley Township. Ferraiolo, 81, was also the father-in-law of current B-P baseball coach Joe DeBarberie, who is married to Ferraiolo's daughter Patty.

"The good thing was that he got a chance to coach two of his grandsons," DeBarberie said yesterday, referencing his own sons, Steve and Matthew, 2006 and 2008 B-P grads, respectively. "How many guys can say they coached their grandsons in high school?"

DeBarberie said Ferraiolo, who had four children and 16 grandchildren, coached at the school for nearly 30 years, starting with junior varsity and moving onto the varsity staff in 2005. He was also inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Pennsylvania Babe Ruth Hall of Fame in 2000 for his years coaching the Upper Darby-Drexel Hill-Llanerch Hills team.

"He was honest, he was a great husband, a great father and I couldn't have asked for a better father-in-law, and I feel blessed to have coached with him for a long time," DeBarberie said. "He was a great baseball man . . . but more important than that, he was the kind of coach that players flocked to and adored. He had this way about him that brought out the best in kids.

"I've gotten so many messages from his former players about how highly they speak about him as a man in a lot of areas other than baseball."

Funeral arrangements have not been finalized, but DeBarberie said services would be held at the Donohue Funeral Home on West Chester Pike, Upper Darby.

- Aaron Carter

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