Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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Demon Deacons
Logo
University Wake Forest University
Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Ron Wellman
Location Winston-Salem, NC
Varsity teams 16
Football stadium BB&T Field
Basketball arena Joel Coliseum
Baseball stadium Gene Hooks Stadium
Mascot Demon Deacon
Nickname Demon Deacons
Fight song O Here's to Wake Forest
Colors
     Black       Old Gold
Website www.wakeforestsports.com

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are the various sports teams of Wake Forest University. Originally, Wake Forest's athletic teams were known as the Fighting Baptists, due to its association with the Baptist Convention (from which it later separated itself). However, in 1923, after a particularly impressive win against the Duke Blue Devils, a newspaper reporter wrote that the Deacons "fought like Demons", giving rise to the current team name, the "Demon Deacons".

Wake Forest has won a total of eight national championships in four different sports; four of these championships have come since 2002. Wake Forest is sometimes referred to as being a part of "Tobacco Road" or "The Big Four", terms that refer to the four North Carolina schools that compete heatedly against each other within the ACC; these include Duke University, North Carolina, and North Carolina State, as well as Wake Forest.

The Demon Deacons participate in the NCAA's Division I (in the Bowl Subdivision for football) and in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Athletics Director is Ron Wellman, who won multiple Athletic Director of the Year Awards for his work during the 2007-2008 school year.[1]

Football[edit]

2006 Season Wake Forest's football team was ranked in the Top 25 in the nation by the AP Poll during most of the 2006 season. They won the 2006 ACC Atlantic Division Title and the 2006 ACC Conference Championship by defeating the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 9–6 on December 2 in the ACC Championship Game in Jacksonville, FL. The win sent Wake Forest to the Orange Bowl to play Big East champion Louisville, where they lost to the Cardinals. This made Wake Forest the smallest school to ever compete in the Bowl Championship Series. Of all schools that play Division I FBS football, only Rice and Tulsa have smaller undergraduate enrollments, and Wake has the smallest undergraduate enrollment of any school in the BCS conferences.

For his part in the record-setting season, coach Jim Grobe was unanimously selected ACC Coach of the Year, and handily won the AP Coach of the Year award several weeks later. Coach Grobe signed a ten-year contract in 2007.

2007 Season Wake Forest followed its success in 2006 with another excellent year and finished the regular season with a record of 8 wins and 4 losses. During the season, the Demon Deacons were briefly ranked in the Top 25. Their success throughout the year earned Wake Forest an invitation to the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina. Played on December 29 in the Bank of America stadium (home of the Carolina Panthers) the Demon Deacons defeated the Connecticut Huskies 24–10.

Wake Forest's head coach, Jim Grobe, continues to garner national attention as an outstanding college football coach. Though he was offered coaching positions at other schools, Grobe chose to remain with the Deacons much to the relief of Wake fans.

Wake Forest plays its home football games at BB&T Field (formerly Groves Stadium).

Men's basketball[edit]

Wake Forest is generally regarded as a competitive program in men's basketball, frequently qualifying for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship (20 times in the school's history). The men's basketball team has made 16 straight postseason appearances (through their NIT appearance in 2006), the longest such streak in the ACC. They reached the Final Four once, in 1962. The school's famous basketball alumni include Billy Packer, a guard on the 1962 Final Four team who became far more famous as a basketball broadcaster; "Muggsy" Bogues, the shortest player ever to play in the NBA; Randolph Childress, for his MVP performance in the 1995 ACC Tournament; Dallas Mavericks star Josh Howard; 2006 NBA Rookie of the Year Award winner and Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul; and two-time league MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP and five-time NBA Champion, San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan. Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum is the home venue for the Demon Deacons basketball team. Skip Prosser, Wake Forest University's men's basketball coach since 2001, died in Winston-Salem on July 26, 2007. One of Prosser's assistant coaches, Dino Gaudio, was named to replace him.

"Rolling the Quad" is a WFU tradition that is done after major victories in athletic competition.

After the firing of Dino Guadio at the end of the 2010 season, Wake Forest hired Jeff Bzdelik as their head basketball coach. Jeff Bzdelik resigned as head basketball coach on March 20, 2014.[2]

Women's field hockey[edit]

Recent athletic honors include three consecutive NCAA Field Hockey national championships in 2002, 2003, and 2004 under Head Coach Jennifer Averill. In 2005, the Deacs were defeated in the semifinal round by Duke University, and in the 2006 championship game by the University of Maryland.

Golf[edit]

The men's golf team has had several years, winning national championships in 1974, 1975, and 1986.[3] Three Demon Deacons have won the individual national title: Curtis Strange in 1974, Jay Haas in 1975, and Gary Hallberg in 1979. Since the NCAA went to pre-national championship regional competitions in 1989, Wake Forest has won three regionals: 2005 (East), 2006 (East), and 2008 (Central).[4]

They have won 19 conference championships:

Several well-known players include Arnold Palmer, Lanny Wadkins, Jay Haas, Billy Andrade, Bill Haas, Curtis Strange, Robert Wrenn, Scott Hoch, Webb Simpson, and Cheyenne Woods.

Soccer[edit]

Wake Forest is a consistent national title contender in men's soccer. In recent years several players from the program have played professionally in Major League Soccer, including Brian Carroll, Will Hesmer, Brian Edwards, Michael Lahoud, Michael Parkhurst, James Riley, Scott Sealy, Sam Cronin, and Wells Thompson. In 2006 the team advanced to the final four of the NCAA tournament where they were defeated in a penalty kick shootout by the University of California, Santa Barbara. They captured the 2007 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship defeating Ohio State 2–1.

Baseball[edit]

Wake Forest won the 1955 College World Series in baseball. Starting in 2009, they will be playing on Ernie Shore Field, in Winston-Salem, NC.

National championships[edit]

  • Men's
    • Baseball - 1955
    • Golf - 1974, 1975, 1986
    • Soccer - 2007
  • Women's
    • Field Hockey - 2002, 2003, 2004

Notable non varsity sports[edit]

Rugby[edit]

Wake Forest plays Division 1 college rugby in the Atlantic Coast Rugby League against its traditional ACC rivals. Wake Forest finished the spring 2012 season fourth in the conference with a 4-3 conference record.[6] Wake rapidly ascended through the Division III and Division II ranks since 2004.[7] Wake rugby has been supported by the Wake Forest Rugby Foundation since 2009, which funds a portion of the team's expenses as well as scholarships for players.[8] Patrick Kane was the Head Coach of the Wake Forest men's rugby team from 2004 to 2013.[9] Patrick Kane served as the Commissioner of the ACRL since its founding in 2010, and on USA Rugby's men's collegiate competition committee.

Screamin' Demons[edit]

Student attendance of Wake Forest football and basketball games was formerly high, in part due to the program known as "Screamin' Demons". At the beginning of each respective athletic season students on the Reynolda Campus can sign up for the program whereby they pay $15 for each season; in addition to the slightly better seats than the other students in football (not enforced) and seats behind the rim in basketball, this gets students a football shirt in the fall and a tie-dye t-shirt in the spring along with a card that serves as an automatic pass to the sporting events. They lose this privilege if they miss two of the games. Most students sign up because ticket distribution to non-Screamin' Demons is unreliable. Through the planning of Sports Marketing and the Screamin' Demons program, basketball game seats in the students section are difficult to attain without participating in the Screamin' Demons program. In 2011, sports marketing lowered the student allotment, and very few students currently attend.

References[edit]