Dear Demon Deacons,
As I walk through the halls and visit with our coaches and administrators, it is very noticeable that there is an air of excitement throughout our department. There is always an element of anticipation when a new year begins but this year it feels differently. Everyone seems to be more excited than usual…and for good reason.
As I write this, our teams are collectively off to one of the best starts since 1999-2000 when measured by the number of wins at this point of the year. Men’s soccer has quickly climbed to be ranked #7 in the country from not being ranked in the top 25 at the beginning of the year. Women’s soccer, field hockey, volleyball and football are all playing well also. Winning does have an impact on all of us. It gives everyone a bit more spring in their step which is always good to see!
While the early-season results are very encouraging, the longer-term perspective is equally exciting. When analyzing our rosters, some of our best athletes are underclassmen. With their continued improvement, we will field teams that contend for ACC championships for a number of years.
Our coaches are attracting outstanding prospects to our programs for many reasons. The opportunity to earn a degree from one of the outstanding universities in the country while competing in the best athletic conference in the country is a rare combination that few schools can offer. Our coaches do a superb job of selling the strengths of Wake Forest and the ACC.
However, the factor that has everyone excited about our future is the facility improvements that are evident in our program. Outstanding facilities make a strong statement to prospects about our commitment to excellence. Recruits want to go to a school that recognizes the value of an excellent athletic program and they often measure that by the quality of the facilities.
The upgrades in our facilities are definitely producing outstanding recruiting classes for us. Whether it be a facility that every team and athlete will benefit from like the McCreary Field House or phase 2 of the Sports Performance Center, or a facility that is sport specific like the Haddock House, the renovations of the Wake Forest Baseball Park, the new Spry Stadium turf or the new turf at Kentner Stadium, a strong statement is being made about the expectations that we have for our teams and program. Like all of us, recruits want to be associated with excellence. When they look at our facilities, they recognize that our expectations are high and that their pursuit of excellence can be achieved as a Demon Deacon.
Come out and cheer your Deacs on to many victories this fall! Be “Proud to be a Deac!”
(Note: This article was originally published in the October 2015 issue of Gold Rush.)