WEBBER, Stephen Cecil
Stephen Cecil Webber, a beloved husband, father, grandfather and coach, died peacefully at his home on November 12, 2022, with his 51-year-old wife Pam and their daughter Ashley at his side. He was 74 years old.
Steve was born on November 21, 1947 in Fairfield, Iowa to Harold M. and Arveda (Peck) Webber. Raised in Stockport, Iowa, a small farm town, he showed a rare athletic talent from an early age. Steve graduated from Van Buren High School in Keosauqua, Iowa in 1966 where he played baseball, basketball, track and field and played the trombone. As a pitcher, he set several Iowa high school records, including one for most strikeouts (23) in a seven-inning game, a record that still stands today.
After high school, Steve attended Muscatine Community College, where he played basketball and baseball and led his team to the 1968 state championship as the top starting pitcher. He continued his education and baseball career at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where he pitched for two seasons, including an appearance in the 1969 College World Series. Steve received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from SIU in 1971 and 1973 a master’s degree in health education.
On December 18, 1971, Steve married the love of his life, Pamela (Mauzy) Webber in Joliet, Illinois. Though drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, he had a passion for coaching and education and began his incredibly successful coaching career in 1974 as a pitching coach at Georgia Southern University. In 1976 he was hired as a pitching coach at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Ashley was born two years later in 1978. Steve remained in Gainesville until 1980, when he was hired as the head coach of the University of Georgia, then the Southeastern Conference (SEC’s) youngest head baseball coach.
Between 1981 and 1996, Steve had 500 wins in 16 seasons at UGA. He led the Bulldogs to their first-ever College World Series in 1987 after winning the SEC regular season title, earning him the rare distinction of both playing and coaching in a College World Series. In 1990, he led his team back to the World Series, where they won a national championship, the first in baseball for both the UGA and the SEC. Steve was named 1987 SEC Coach of the Year and 1990 National Coach of the Year. He remains the most successful baseball coach in UGA history.
Steve’s tenure at UGA was a family affair. Pam created and directed the “Batgirl” program, the Diamond Darlings, and she and Ashley have taken an active role in recruiting her home dinners and end-of-season celebrations. Pam hosted a spaghetti dinner for the players every February before the start of the season. Rarely missing a game, Pam and Ashley rode the bus to away games with Steve and the team. As a child, Ashley was a volunteer Batgirl and wore her father’s number “27” on her uniform and often sat next to Steve in the dugout.
In 1997, Steve began his 21-year professional baseball career with the New York Yankees as a minor league pitching coach and coordinator of instruction. He then worked as a pitching coach at Double-A and Triple-A levels for the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros. He retired in 2016 after serving as a pitching advisor and coach for the Atlanta Braves.
In 2018, Steve was inducted into the UGA’s Circle of Honor, which is designed to pay tribute to exceptional student athletes and coaches who have brought honor to the university and themselves through their performance and conduct, and who through their actions have contributed to the Georgia Bulldogs tradition. One of the awards that meant the most to him was his induction into the Van Buren High School Hall of Fame in 2019. Steve was very proud to be an Iowan and enjoyed his annual visits to family and friends close to his Hometown Stockport very.
Although Steve’s professional accolades have been exceptional, he will be best remembered for his achievements off the field. His desire to learn and teach never stopped. He was incredibly well read and an astute historian of baseball and Iowa history. Steve’s greatest legacy was being a lifelong teacher and mentor to hundreds of people including his daughter Ashley and his precious grandchildren. He taught each of them how to live a life of integrity, honesty, and humility by exemplifying those traits as a leader, friend, brother, husband, father, and grandfather. He is irreplaceable and will be missed by all of us.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents Harold and Arveda Webber; and his namesake, his grandson, Webber Bennett Broach.
Steve is survived by his wife Pam; his daughter Ashley; his son-in-law Joe; his grandsons Bo, Whit and Bess Broach; and his sister Linda Feezor.
Funeral service will be on Sunday, November 20, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at Northside Church, 2799 Northside Dr. NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30305, of which he was a member. A reception immediately follows at his daughter’s home in Marietta, Georgia.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Steve Webber Scholarship Fund, which is awarded to a deserving student-athlete from Steve’s alma mater, Van Buren High School, who demonstrates leadership, integrity and determination. Donation details will be updated here.