I write this article after returning home from Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday, September 10. Wake Forest football beat Duke 24-14 which represented a major step on the ladder to return Wake Forest football to championship form. The progress of the football program was very evident by the performance of our team on the field that Saturday. The students rolled the Quad in exemplary fashion as the ultimate show of support for a big win for the program. The entire next week there was a feeling of optimism, pride and school spirit that permeated Wake Forest. Internal meetings had a different feeling, phone calls took on a positive tone and there was literally a buzz of excitement in the air. Success in football rises all tides and lifts all spirits. It has been some time since we have had this feeling and it appears that all signs point to more success over the course of the season.
Some three years ago, Wake Forest embarked on the most ambitious athletic facility build out in our University’s history. Thousands of very generous Deacon Club members contributed their hard-earned money and rallied around the vision of Developing Champions. With over $111 million raised for capital facilities, the construction and progress has been incredible with five major projects completed, one under construction and two more pending final funding. As a result, we have literally transformed our facilities and put our programs in a position to excel.
The Wake Will Campaign progress is having an immediate impact. As I look at our fall sports today, we have the No. 10 ranked men’s soccer team, No. 11 ranked field hockey team, women’s soccer is 8-0, volleyball is progressing with a brand new coach and football is 2-0 with a huge ACC win under our belt. The Deacon “Win-O-Meter”—a stat that is a culmination of all of our sports teams wins—sits at 19 as of September 12, only one win shy of our all-time record in the 1999-2000 year.
We are not finished with our efforts to Develop Champions and have more ambitious projects in the queue for a number of our teams. It is nice to temporarily enjoy the moment, relish a victory and reflect on the progress we have made by the efforts of our donors, coaches and administration. Thank you for allowing us to Develop Champions!
(Note: This article was originally published in the October 2016 issue of Gold Rush.)