Dr. Herb Appenzeller

Published 9:33 am Thursday, January 11, 2018

GREENSBORO, NC – Dr. Herbert T. “Herb” Appenzeller of Greensboro, NC, passed away on January 5, 2018, at the age of 92.

A native of Newark, NJ, Herb spent the majority of his life providing inspiration and guidance to students and sports enthusiasts in North Carolina and around the country. Appenzeller has a storied history at Chowan University, then Chowan College, as an athletic director, head coach, and instructor.

A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, January 13, at 2 pm in Dana Auditorium on the Guilford College campus. The Appenzeller family will hold a visitation Friday, January 12, at 5 pm at New Garden Friends Meeting. The burial will be private.

Herb graduated from Wake Forest College in Wake Forest, NC, in 1948 with a degree in Latin. He was a two-sport star and letterman in Football and Track.

His first collegiate coaching job was at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, NC, in 1951. His recruitment efforts helped Chowan College remain open at a critical time in its history. Today, there is an eternal fountain on campus in his honor.

After his work at Chowan, Appenzeller moved on to Guilford College where he spent 40 years in service as an athletic director, coach, and renowned professor in the Sport Management field. He has been credited with turning four athletic programs around, winning championships at three of the four schools.

A nationally respected author and consultant in the fields of sports law and risk management, Herb conducted risk-reviews and made presentations for hundreds of colleges, universities, and organizations wanting to protect athletes from injury. He is a member of eight halls of fame, including the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, the North Carolina and Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame, Chowan University, Guilford College Athletics, and Wake Forest University Athletics. The football field at Guilford’s Armfield Athletic Center was renamed Herb Appenzeller Field in 2006.

In addition to being a professor and coach, Herb was the author of 28 books, the majority in sport law and risk management, including textbooks and a history of Guilford College from 1956 to 1987 entitled “Pride in the Past.” Herb was working on his 29th book entitled “Legends from the Locker Room” for which he completed the final nine chapters the day before his passing. For 25 years, Herb wrote, edited, and managed “From the Gym to the Jury” newsletter, America’s leading authority on injury, liability, and litigation in sports. In 2015, Herb received the North Carolina Order of the Long-Leaf Pine, the State’s highest honor.

Herb had a blended family consisting of his wife Ann Terrill Appenzeller to whom he was married for 24 wonderful years. Herb’s children are Thomas “Tommy” Appenzeller of Marshville, NC, a retired professor of sport management from Catawba College. His daughters are Linda Partee, a teacher in Waxhaw, SC, and Mary Somers, a teacher in Spartanburg, SC. Herb was so proud that his children followed in his footsteps to be lifelong educators. Ann’s children include daughter Terri Harris, a partner with Smith Moore Leatherwood in Greensboro, and son Scott Johnson, Deputy Director of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Herb was close to all five children and valued his relationships with daughter-in-law, Kathy Appenzeller, and sons-in-law Barry Partee, Mike Somers, and George Harris.

Grandchildren include Justin, Elizabeth, and Thomas Appenzeller; Kristy Partee Stone (Matt), Kelly Partee Sullivan (Dan), and Barrett Partee; David, Luke, and Sarah Somers; Mitchell and Spencer Harris. Great-grandchildren, of which there are now seven, are Trey, Levi, and Clara Sullivan; Karly, Ryan, and Eli Stone; and newborn Lawrence Thomas Dennis.

Herb unconditionally loved his wife Ann, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren along with countless numbers of students, athletes, and coaches through his teaching and coaching years.

Donations may be made to Chowan University (One University Place, Murfreesboro, NC 27855), Project Smile (PO Box 336, Hopedale, MA 01747), Guilford College (5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro, NC 27410) or to Wake Forest University (1834 Wake Forest Rd., Winston Salem, NC 27109).

Forbis & Dick Guilford Chapel is assisting the Appenzeller family and online condolences may be offered at www.forbisanddick.com