Ferrum's sports teams participate in the NCAA's Division III in the USA South Athletic Conference (formerly the Dixie Conference). Its football team played in the Atlantic Central Football Conference from 1998 to 2000. Ferrum joined the NCAA Division III in 1985 after being previously classified as a junior college. Under head coach W.H. "Hank" Norton, Ferrum won the National Junior College Athletic Association national football championship four times (1965, 1968, 1974, 1977). Norton's last great team, in 1989, finished third overall in NCAA Division III, losing in the national semifinal to Dayton. This team featured the double-threat backfield of future AFC leading rusher Chris Warren and Freddie Stovall. The football team plays its home games at W.B. Adams Stadium and won their conference championship this year in 2012
The 2010-2011 men's basketball team received the pre-season first place ranking. They are currently ranked #23 in NCAA division III. Under future Evansville head basketball coach (who died in the December 1977 plane crash) Bobby Watson, Ferrum's basketball team was the national runner-up in 1972, losing in the NJCAA title game to Vincennes (Indiana) Junior College, led by future NBA great Bob McAdoo.
Distinguished alumni in sports:
- Jim Grobe - head football coach, Wake Forest University
- Chris Warren '90 - football, running back for the Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, and Philadelphia Eagles
- Billy Wagner - baseball, pitcher for the Atlanta Braves; has played for the Boston Red Sox (2009), New York Mets (2006-2009), Philadelphia Phillies (2004-2005), and Houston Astros (1995-2003) and was a first-round draft pick (12th pick overall) in the 1993 MLB draft.
- Eric Owens '93 - baseball, outfielder, most recently played for the Anaheim Angels in 2003. Played for the Florida Marlins (2001-2002), San Diego Padres (1999-2000), Milwaukee Brewers (1998), and Cincinnati Reds (1995-1997).
- Jerry Venable - former member of Harlem Globetrotters basketball team.
- Bruce Gossett - kicker for San Francisco 49ers in 1970s.
- Billy Joe Mantooth - 1970 All-American at Ferrum, transferred to West Virginia University and later played in the NFL.
- Julius Campbell -Defensive standout immortalized by the film Remember the Titans.
- "Ferrum College - Panthers in the Pros". Ferrum College. 6 February 2008. http://www.ferrumpanthers.com/sports/2008/2/6/GEN_0206083759.aspx?tab=panthersinthepros. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
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