Chad Ferguson, editor and publisher of The Banner Press Newspaper in Columbus, was elected the 134th president of the Texas Press Association on June 18, 2011, at TPA’s 132nd Annual Summer Convention in Rockwall. His term officially began July 1.
He succeeded Bob Brincefield, former vice president and publisher of the Brownwood Bulletin, who retired in June after serving 50 years in the industry.
Ferguson began his newspaper career at the age of 10 as a paperboy for The Facts in Clute. Two years later he was sharing a sports column with his father, George, who was sports editor of the newspaper.
He later covered Little League sports for the Altus Times-Democrat (Okla.) between his freshman and sophomore years in high school, and later returned to that newspaper after graduation from J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson to cover the Altus Junior College baseball team where he attended school on an athletic scholarship.
His college baseball coach was Glenn Royal, brother of legendary University of Texas Football Coach Darrell Royal. Prior to college, he was a member of a Dallas summer baseball team that played in the Connie Mack World Series in 1972.
Ferguson never received a college degree — he left school to take a full-time position with the Richardson Daily News as sports editor.
In 1978, after a six-year stint at the Daily News, he took a job as news editor of the Seminole Sentinel, where he was able to work under someone he considers a true mentor and longtime friend, Marshall Day.
It was Day who taught Ferguson the many other facets of the newspaper industry, especially the advertising side — the dollars and cents of the profession.
After three years Ferguson moved to Alvin, where he was managing editor of the Alvin Sun and Alvin Advertiser.
Soon after moving to Alvin, he left the newspaper industry to work for a company in College Station that helped produce athletic programs for Texas A&M University, as well as create and publish a statewide 4-H magazine.
That didn’t last long, however, as he quickly returned to his first love, newspaper publishing. He took a job as managing editor and advertising sales representative of the Lufkin Advertiser, which was under the co-ownership of Alvin Holley.
It was in 1985 that Ferguson moved to Columbus to join his father and cousin in a start-up, The Banner Press Newspaper, covering Austin, Colorado and Fayette counties.
Ferguson and his wife, Ramona (“Bebo”), became part owners of the newspaper in 1988.
During his tenure, the newspaper won numerous awards sponsored by the Texas Press Association, South Texas Press Association and Texas Gulf Coast Press Association.
Ferguson was a past president of TGCPA and served on the board of STPA, of which he also was past president. His wife Ramona is also a past president of both TGCPA and STPA and board member of TGCPA.
In 2009 the Texas Girls Coaches Association honored Ferguson as its Sports Writer of the Year for a second time. He first received the award in 1992. He was also honored by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches as the recipient of its Golden Hoops Award for sports coverage on two occasions: the first following the 1989-90 season and again in 2008.
As a longtime member of the Texas Sports Writers Association, he actively promoted athletes from his tri-county coverage area.
Ferguson died Feb. 4, 2019, following a battle with cancer. He was 65. In addition to his wife Ramona, survivors include their two children, Christopher (Chris) Chadwick Ferguson and London Ferguson Webb; four grandchildren, Dylan Chadwick Ferguson, Hailey Renee Ferguson; Zoey Lynn Ferguson and Rylee Kai Webb; and other relatives.