NCHSAA HALL OF FAMER
JOE EBLEN PASSES AWAY
ASHEVILLE—Joe Eblen, a member of the North Carolina High School Athletic Assocation Hall of Fame, passed away recently after a period of declinining health at the age of 87.
A member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame class of 1995, he will go down as one of the greatest game officials in North Carolina history.
A long-time resident of Asheville, Eblen is a 1948 graduate of the University of Tennessee who coached junior high school football, basketball and baseball, compiling winning percentages of better than .800 in all three sports. However, he is best known in athletics for his work as an official.
He helped to organize the officials association in Asheville, worked as a booking agent for 12 years and was president of the Western North Carolina Officials Association for four years. Amazingly, he worked well over 50 years as a certified football official in the state. He worked numerous state football championships in addition to the Shrine Bowl and the East-West all-star game, and for years he also officiated high school basketball.
Eblen was very involved in civic and community affairs, serving on a number of Asheville-area boards. He started the Eblen Foundation for cystic fibrosis and other chronic diseases.
He is also a member of the Western North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.