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DEACON Ron Wellman retires after leading Wake Forest athletics to unprecedented success

MASTERFUL AT AUGUSTA Defending NCAA champion Jennifer Kupcho wins historic amateur tournament

MAY 2019


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VOL. 29 // ISSUE 7 (USPS 014-373) EDITOR


Brian Westerholt, WFU Athletics and others as noted WRITERS

Sam Walker, Stephanie Hudson, Rachael Bari, Lauren Close Design & Layout

Summit Athletic Media



Learfield IMG College Jeff Salisbury, Ike Fullard, Neil Bishop, Kelsey Gomes For information on advertising, please call (336) 758-7230

ACC CHAMPS AGAIN: The top-seeded Wake Forest men's tennis team captured its second consecutive ACC title, defeating Virginia in the final of the ACC Tennis Championship April 21. It is the team’s third title in program history with all three titles coming in the last four years. The NCAA Tournament is next for the Deacons, who improved their record to 29-3, as they aim for a second straight national championship.

4 24 Gold Rush is published eight times a year in August, October, November, December, February, March, May and June by Learfield IMG College in conjunction with Wake Forest Athletics. Periodicals postage paid at Winston-Salem, NC 27102 and at additional mailing offices. The price of an annual subscription is $20. Members of the Deacon Club receive a oneyear subscription as part of their membership. Persons wishing to subscribe to Gold Rush should send a check or money order (credit cards not accepted) to: Learfield IMG College 540 N. Trade St. Winston-Salem, NC 27101 All material produced in this publication is the property of Wake Forest University and Learfield IMG College and shall not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission. POSTMASTER: Please send all address changes to the attention of Stephanie Hudson, Wake Forest Athletics, 519 Deacon Blvd. Winston-Salem, NC 27105. The appearance of advertising in this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser and/or the advertiser’s product or service by Wake Forest or Learfield IMG College. The use of the name of the University or any of its identifying marks in advertisements must be approved by WFU and IMG.

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// 6 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED Ron Wellman’s two-word mission statement of “Developing Champions” set the tone for a staggering list of accomplishments during his 27 years as athletic director at Wake Forest.

// 12 CELEBRITY STATUS Jennifer Kupcho’s victory at Augusta National Golf Club as the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world was televised live on NBC and led to appearances on “The Today Show” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

// 14 TWO RETURNING STARTERS After Sam Hartman was injured late last season, followed by Jamie Newman taking over and leading the Deacons to a third straight bowl victory and third straight winning season, the two quarterbacks are both listed at No. 1 on the football depth chart after the spring.

// 18 SERVING UP SUCCESS Senior Emma Davis places being a complete student-athlete and part of a special group of teammates above her stellar record on the court for the women’s tennis team.

ON THE COVER Ron Wellman stands in front of the Deacon statue outside of BB&T Field. Wellman announced his retirement, effective May 1, after 27 years as the athletic director at Wake Forest.

// 20 MAKING AN IMPACT Junior Patrick Frick has become one of the ACC’s leading hitters, and his move to shortstop has made the Deacons a better defensive team with him as the anchor.

MAY 2019



// J O H N C U R R I E

Thanks to Ron Wellman


As I considered what to write in my inaugural Gold Rush column, many things came to mind – what a privilege it is for me to serve as the new Director of Athletics, what an exciting time this is for my family and me, what a great job our spring sports are doing, how proud we are of the studentathletes preparing to graduate in a few days – but there is one topic that I feel I must write about, and I’m truly honored to do so. That topic is Ron Wellman and the impact he and Linda have had on my life and the legacy he has left at Wake Forest. As I mentioned during my introductory press conference, Ron has been my long-time mentor and is responsible for everything I have in my professional life. From the day we first met in 1992 when I was a student, to my first years with the Deacon Club and throughout my career in college athletics, Ron has represented the standard of excellence

and integrity I have sought to emulate. Mary Lawrence and I are fortunate to have had Ron and Linda to look to for advice, guidance and leadership, and we look forward to celebrating many Wake Forest victories with them in the future. During his tenure, Wake Forest won 24 ACC Championships and five NCAA team championships as well as seven individual national titles. Wake Forest produced 10 national players of the year, four national freshman of the year awards, and 171 first team All-Americans, not to mention more than 600 All-ACC selections. Under his leadership, significant strides have been made in every aspect of the studentathlete experience from enhancing their well-being, personal and career development to a complete transformation of athletic facilities. Ron’s strong leadership never wavered; his commitment to developing champions remained steadfast through his last day in the office, as evidenced by Dave

Clawson’s long-term contract extension announced on April 30. There is no way I could pay tribute to all of Ron’s accomplishments and accolades within the confines of this page. It is amazing to see how far Wake Forest Athletics has come in the last 26-plus years, and I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of a man I have respected and admired for decades. As we look toward the future with anticipation, we will continue to be incredibly grateful for the leadership, mentorship and friendship of the man who built a foundation of integrity, excellence and success for Wake Forest Athletics. Please join Mary Lawrence and me in saying “thank you” to Ron & Linda Wellman, two “Deacon Greats” whose tremendous impact on Wake Forest and our community will continue to be felt for generations to come.

Ron Wellman and John Currie








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MAY 2019



// R O N W E L L M A N



eveloping Champions. That’s what it has always been about for Ron Wellman in his 27 years as athletic director at Wake Forest.

It even became the plain and simple two-word mission statement during his tenure of guiding the Deacon program to unprecedented success. “Ron has led Wake Forest athletics with grace, integrity and a commitment to excellence without pretension,” said University President Nathan Hatch in the announcement that Wellman was retiring, effective May 1, and being replaced by John Currie. “He has overseen the most successful period in our athletics history, currently ranking first in the Directors Cup in the ACC while achieving a student-athlete graduation rate of 94 percent.” The staggering list of accomplishments during Wellman’s reign (as of the date of his retirement) included five NCAA team championships (field hockey in 2002, 2003 and 2014, men’s soccer in 2007 and men’s tennis in 2018) as well as seven individual national titles and 24 ACC Championships. “It has been an absolute privilege to spend 27 years at Wake Forest University,” Wellman said. “This University has provided myself and my family an outstanding opportunity to develop relationships with so many phenomenal coaches and student-athletes as well as faculty, staff and community members.” Under his leadership, Wake Forest produced nine national players of the year, four national freshman of the year awards and 171 firstteam All-Americans.



In addition, he oversaw: • 659 first-team All-ACC selections • 44 ACC Players of the Year and 40 ACC Coaches of the Year • 39 ACC Freshmen of the Year • 21 ACC Tournament MVP’s • 27 Academic All-Americans The football program has made history with bowl wins in three consecutive years along with seven bowl appearances in the last 13 years. The 2006 season will always be fondly remembered for an amazing run to the ACC championship and appearance in the Orange Bowl. And no one will forget the back-to-back ACC championships in 1995 and 1996 in men’s basketball and some of the great teams and players who wore the Old Gold and Black over the years, including Tim Duncan and Chris Paul. A big part of “Developing Champions” has been the dramatic transformation of athletic facilities with more than $250 million invested into projects at Wake Forest since 2008. The highlights include McCreary Tower at BB&T Field, LJVM Coliseum purchase and renovation, David F. Couch Ballpark purchase and renovation (and the addition of the Chris Hurd Baseball Player Development Center), McCreary Field House (a state-of-the art indoor practice facility serving all Wake Forest teams), the Wake Forest Tennis Complex and numerous other renovations and additions. And coming in 2019 is the 87,000 square-foot Sutton Sports Performance Center, which will provide strength and conditioning space for student-athletes as well as a nutrition area and expanded sports medicine and training resources, and the 24,400 square-foot Shah Basketball Complex.

Ron Wellman and WFU Athletics benefactor Bob McCreary MAY 2019



// R O N W E L L M A N

Dave Clawson and Ron Wellman

that wasn’t going to be limited because of being the smallest in the ACC. “If we’re going to do it, we’re going to excel at it,” Wellman said of the mindset. “There are no excuses in athletics. Just because we’re small doesn’t mean we can’t win. Just because we’re small doesn’t mean we can’t attract the best. Just because we’re small, forget that. … The little caboose that could, that’s not who we are. We’re a big caboose. We’re a big engine. That’s who we want to be. That’s who we strive to be.” And that’s what they’ve been. Leading the ACC and ranking sixth in the nation in the Director’s Cup – that honors institutions maintaining a broad-based program, achieving success in many sports on a points-based system – heading into the spring sports season of Wellman’s final year on the job shows the tremendous balance in the program. Wellman admits it’s been a “dream come true” since he arrived in October 1992. He recalls a couple of earlier visits to Wake Forest in the 1980s when he brought teams from previous stops to Winston-Salem to play the Deacons. “On both of those occasions, Linda and I walked around campus and both of us said, ‘What a neat place.’ It is beautiful No. 1, but it also has a warm, Southern feeling to it,” Wellman said. “I remember exactly where I was when I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat to be at a place like this.’ Little did we know that a few years later we would have the opportunity to come to Wake Forest.” The final piece of the puzzle came together when Wellman, a native of Ohio who served as athletic director at Elmhurst College, Minnesota State-Mankato and Illinois State along with stints as the baseball coach at Elmhurst and Northwestern (where he had a combined record of 390-233), had his first interview with Dr. Ed Wilson, who was chairman of the search committee at Wake Forest.




Ron Wellman celebrates the 2007 men’s soccer national championship with coach Jay Vidovich

“I called Linda and said, ‘I’ve met the nicest man I’ve ever met in my life. If this university can keep a man like that for as long as they have kept him, this is the place we want to be,’” Wellman recalled. “I never had an experience like that and was hoping they would offer me the job because I knew this is the type of place we can be for a long, long time. Fortunately, the job was offered, and we accepted in about two seconds.”

"RON HAS SERVED WAKE FOREST TRUE TO THE SAME PRINCIPLES BY WHICH HE LIVES HIS LIFE: FAITH, FAMILY, AND CHARACTER. THROUGH HIS 27 YEARS OF OUTSTANDING SERVICE, HE HAS EXEMPLIFIED WHAT WAKE FOREST STANDS FOR ON AND OFF THE FIELD AND HAS ENHANCED WAKE FOREST'S REPUTATION NATIONALLY.” —GERALD F. ROACH, CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES, WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY The Wellmans, who have three daughters and 10 grandchildren, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in September. Ron said that Linda has always been “a tower of strength for me. There is not one time in our professional life that she has said no. She has always supported me in everything I’ve done.”

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MAY 2019



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"WORKING FOR RON WELLMAN THE PAST FIVE YEARS HAS BEEN ONE OF THE GREATEST PRIVILEGES I HAVE EXPERIENCED IN MY COACHING CAREER. I WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL TO RON FOR GIVING ME AND OUR STAFF THE OPPORTUNITY TO COME TO WAKE FOREST. RON HAS BEEN A GREAT BOSS, MENTOR, AND FRIEND WHOSE POSITIVE IMPACT ON WAKE FOREST ATHLETICS WILL BE FELT FOR GENERATIONS TO COME." —DAVE CLAWSON, HEAD FOOTBALL COACH, WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY But back to that mission statement. Wellman admitted the one in place at the time was awfully long and no one could recite it. “I told our staff one day that we were going to do something with our mission statement so that everyone can remember it,” Wellman said. “It’s going to be two words – Developing Champions. And that’s what we’re all about. In the athletic world, immediately people think, well, we’ve got championships. No, it goes way, way beyond that. We’re going to develop champions for life. And that means doing well academically. Our coaches have the same expectations of our athletes academically as they do athletically. And that’s excellence. We are developing champions for life.”

Upon his departure, Wellman wanted to make sure to pay his highest regards to Dr. Gene Hooks, who served as athletic director from 1964 to 1992. “We only do this once every 27 years,” Wellman said with a chuckle at the press conference in early March. “My predecessor is here, and I cannot start this without recognizing Gene Hooks. I hope you know what that man did for this university and this athletic department. If it weren’t for him, I am convinced that Wake Forest would not be in the ACC. He certainly was a great role model for me going forward.” Now Wellman, who asked Hatch to do him a favor when he was finalizing his exit plans last fall by not being a lame duck and pushing the announcement until the spring, is throwing his support to Currie. “This is the time when we are transitioning, and I am so excited about our new leader – John Currie,” Wellman said. “We have an excellent future because we have an excellent leader coming on board. I am thrilled that John Currie is going to be leading our program.” Wellman gave Currie a new lapel pin, similar to the one he was given when he was announced as the new athletic director. “I have worn this Deacon head for 27 years and have worn it proudly,” Wellman said to Currie. “No, you’re not getting it. But I found my Deacon’s brother, and John, you get the brother.” Now Wellman looks forward to pulling for and watching the program develop champions from his new perspective.



WELLMAN: BY THE NUMBERS STARTED: 10/13/91 RETIRED: 5/1/19 SPAN: 9,696 DAYS • 5 Team National Championships • 7 Individual National Championships • 8 Bowl Wins • 10 National Players of the Year • 24 ACC Championships • 40 ACC Coaches of the Year • 44 ACC Players of the Year • 209 All-Americans • 659 All-ACC First Team Selections






// J E N N I F E R K U P C H O



ennifer Kupcho's place in Wake Forest history is secure, and it's a very secure place.

Kupcho, a senior on the women's golf team, has to be considered the best women's golfer in the history of the school. That's high praise for sure considering the depth of talent over the years that has come through the program, but Kupcho's showing at the Augusta National Women's Open at Augusta National Golf Club last month is hard to ignore. Her victory there as the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world was televised live on NBC, and the historical significance turned Kupcho into a mini-celebrity. "It was really amazing," Kupcho said about her victory which was historic because a women's tournament of that stature, including 72 of the best women amateurs in the world, was played for the first time at the home of the Masters. All Kupcho did was go 5-under on her final six holes to shoot 67 and beat her good friend, Maria Fassi of Arkansas, by four shots. Battling a migraine headache and the nerve it takes to play Amen Corner in such a pressure situation, Kupcho's talent surfaced when it mattered most. "I think to win at Augusta National and to get to walk the fairways and walk up 18 with as many fans that were there – it's an experience like no other," Kupcho said soon after her victory.



It was a few days after her historic win that Kupcho, who has two more tournaments to play in for the Deacons before she joins the LPGA Tour, could smile about how she almost didn't accept the invitation to the tournament. When that invitation came she looked at the Deacons' spring schedule and thought about her team first. She didn't want to be worn out as the Deacons chased postseason success. (Wake ended up winning the ACC championship a few days after Kupcho's victory in Augusta and are one of the favorites for the program's first NCAA championship). She turned down the opportunity at first but then WFU coach Kim Lewellen cancelled a tournament the Deacs were scheduled to play in, and that's when Kupcho re-visited the invitation to the brand new event. "I called (Augusta National Women's Tournament) and asked if I could still play," Kupcho said, "and they said absolutely you have a spot and just like that I was back in it." Kupcho, who played for three seasons for the legendary Dianne Dailey before Dailey retired soon after Kupcho won last spring's NCAA individual championship, hit the shot of the tournament on the famed par-5 13th hole at Augusta National. She carved her second shot into the green, made the putt for eagle, and never trailed thereafter. She ended the tournament 10-under and called that shot on 13 the biggest of the day. "I was 211 yards away on that second shot and hit a hybrid and I thought I had enough

to cover the water and it did," Kupcho said. Not only were Kupcho and Fassi making history in their duel down the stretch, but their sportsmanship came shining through. They encouraged each other the whole round as if they were playing in a friendly match. That talk of such great sportsmanship was one of the storylines of the entire tournament. Kupcho said she hopes it was a good example for others, but it wasn't something that they planned. "We were cheering each other on, and that's kind of how golf is supposed to be," Kupcho said. Kupcho and Fassi also hit the talk shows after the historic tournament, being interviewed on "The Today Show" in the morning and then taping a segment for "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." When the dust settled and she returned to classes at Wake Forest, one her instructors, Dan Locklair, threw Kupcho and her classmates an impromptu party. "At the end of the class he had bought doughnuts from Krispy Kreme and we had a party. It was amazing," Kupcho said. What's also been amazing is Kupcho's consistent career for the Demon Deacons. She has nine career wins, one behind all-time leader Stephanie Neill Harner, who had 10 wins in the mid-1990s. Because she has already qualified for the LPGA Tour, Kupcho has a chance to make some waves this summer as a rookie. She has qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open, which will be played May 30 – June 2 in Charleston, S.C. Laura Philo Diaz, who is a former Deacon star, has enjoyed a 20-plus-year career on the LPGA Tour and is the school's most successful former player. She has won twice on the LPGA Tour and three more times on the Symetra Tour, and represented the United States on four Solheim Cup teams.

Diaz says Kupcho will likely be a force in pro golf and has loved watching her mature while at the university. "Being fortunate enough to have been part of Kuppie's life at Wake was inspiring and awesome to watch," said Laura, a 1997 WFU graduate. "Kup is a phenomenal player who has one NCAA championship and has the opportunity to repeat this year." One of the important aspects of Kupcho's time at Wake Forest was earning her degree. After qualifying for the LPGA Tour she could have left school early, but decided to stay and continue to be a college student. "I just wanted to go back to Wake Forest and get my degree," said Kupcho, who is 21-years-old and is a communication major. "Along with that, my team has always been great to me, and I know that they will definitely follow in my footsteps." John Dell, a sportswriter for the last 30 years, has worked at the Winston-Salem Journal for the last 25 years and among his duties is covering Wake Forest golf.

Individual champ Migliaccio leads WFU to ACC Championship The Wake Forest women's golf team concluded a wire-towire victory at the 2019 ACC Championship at Greensboro’s Sedgefield Country Club that featured sophomore Emilia Migliaccio also claiming the individual title. Migliaccio, who posted her third victory over the season, became the eighth Demon Deacon to win the ACC individual title, shooting a final round 68 to finish at 11-under. The 11-under par was the lowest 54-hole score at Sedgefield Country Club in the nine ACC Championships held at the course. “Of course, I am happy about winning the title,” Migliaccio said, “but I am even happier that we were able to win as a team and I can share this moment with my teammates."

The Demon Deacons shot 5-under during the final round to finish at 14-under and post an eight-shot victory. It was the program’s sixth ACC Championship and the first since 2010.

MAY 2019




// S P R I N G G A M E




ake Forest’s spring football prospectus lists two returning starters at quarterback – Sam Hartman and Jamie Newman.

They will head into the summer as 1A and 1A on the depth chart, and they’ll keep on competing until head coach Dave Clawson decides who gets the starting nod in advance of the season-opener on Aug. 30 at home against Utah State. “Both of us had really good springs, and it has shown that playing this past year really helped both of us develop,” said the 6-1, 200-pound Hartman, who won the job last year as a true freshman and led the Deacons to a 4-4 record before suffering a season-ending leg injury Nov. 3 at Syracuse. “I think it’s going to come down to the very end, and whoever wins it is going to be the best for our team because throughout the spring and the summer we’re just going to be competing and making each other better.” Newman, who directed the offense to key road wins down the stretch at NC State and Duke and then to an exciting last-minute victory in the Birmingham Bowl, said that last year’s experience helped both of them. “We’re just trying to make each other better because the more we push each other, the better the team is going to be,” said Newman, a 6-4, 235-pound redshirt junior. The spring game on April 6 didn’t change anything, although Newman’s numbers looked better on the stat sheet. He completed 15 of 18 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns while Hartman connected on eight of 11 passes

for 47 yards. “They both had moments of good things,” Clawson said. “So much of it was who they were playing with. Sometimes we had mismatches up front.” While a great deal of attention looking ahead to the 2019 season has centered on the battle at quarterback, the offensive line will be a focal point as well as Wake Forest must replace three experienced starters – Ryan Anderson, Phil Haynes and Patrick Osterhage – who helped pave the way for an offensive resurgence over the last two years. The Deacons set school records with more than 6,000 yards of total offense in 2017 and followed that last fall by rushing for over 200 yards per game, the highest average for any Wake Forest team since 2002. “Anytime you lose three guys who have played as much football as Phil, Patrick and Ryan, there’s always going to be a bit of a learning curve,” said offensive line coach Nick Tabacca. “We’ve kind of challenged the guys to not let the bar slip at all and keep the production where it’s been. I’m really happy with the way the guys have responded to that.” Jake Benzinger, a redshirt senior, returns as a third-year starter at one of the tackle positions and has been a big part of the vast improvement up front. “We’ve turned the offensive line from a weakness into a huge strength for this team,” Benzinger said. “It’s been a lot of ownership, but also guys have gotten older and played a lot more snaps.” He admits “that’s thousands of snaps that left the team, but we’re confident in everyone’s abilities. It’s just more of a matter of building chemistry.” MAY 2019



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“I THINK IN THE SIX YEARS HERE, THIS WILL BE THE MOST COMPETITIVE THE OFFENSE AND DEFENSE WILL BE WITH EACH OTHER. I THINK WE HAD THREE YEARS IN WHICH THE DEFENSE WAS SIGNIFICANTLY AHEAD. THEN THE LAST TWO YEARS THE OFFENSE WAS SIGNIFICANTLY AHEAD. I THINK NEXT YEAR THE TEAM HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THE SMALLEST GAP BETWEEN THE TWO UNITS.” –DAVE CLAWSON, WAKE FOREST HEAD COACH Benzinger had to shift from right tackle to left tackle last season when standout Justin Herron, a 2017 All-ACC pick and three-year starter, suffered a season-ending injury in last season’s opening game. “Although it was a terrible injury, it sure helps having Justin back,” Benzinger said, adding that redshift sophomore Zach Tom, the projected starter at center, has played a lot and shown improvement, and redshirt senior Nate Gilliam, a starting guard who had to move to right tackle last year after Herron’s injury, will return to his former spot inside. Several promising younger players are competing for the other vacancy at guard and to create quality depth. “The versatility really helps us,” Benzinger said. “We’ve had great competition in the spring, and that will be even higher in fall camp with guys pushing each other.” The towering 6-7, 300-pound Benzinger also offered his take on the position battle at quarterback involving Hartman and Newman.



“It’s been an awesome competition that has allowed them both to take it to new heights,” he said. “They’re both playing way better than we saw them play last year.” As for the game itself, using a specialized scoring system, the offense held on for a 55-45 victory over the defense before an estimated crowd of 3,500 on a sunny, warm afternoon at BB&T Field. The offense was able to score points by gaining a first down or executing a play of 25 or more yards along with the standard points for a touchdown, PAT and field goal. The defense accumulated points for each turnover, drive stop, forced fumble, and stopping a drive inside the 40-yard line. Among the two-point plays that exceeded 25 yards were a 42-yard rush by running back DeAndre Delaney and a 35yard run by Courtney McKinney. Newman’s big plays were a 72-yard scoring pass to redshirt freshman A.T. Perry, a 29yard toss to Sage Surratt and a 45-yard pass to Steve Claude. The defense stopped eight drives and earned six points for a Kenneth Dicks III interception. The coaching staff decided on the unique format of offense vs. defense because of numerous players missing the game due to injuries, particularly on the defensive side at linebacker and safety. "I think the offense got the better of it early, then the defense played well after that," Clawson said. "We're a little short-handed on defense, and I think that showed up. We got in more than 80 snaps, which was the goal. Most importantly, we stayed healthy.”

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// E M M A D AV I S



mma Davis, a senior from Cohasset, Mass., has had one of the more successful careers in the history of the Wake Forest women’s tennis program. She attributes her stellar record to the family-like culture of her team and the balance she has been able to prioritize in her life as a student-athlete.

It was love at first sight for Davis as a high school recruit, stepping onto Wake Forest’s campus for the first time. Visiting one of her best friends, Kimmy Guerin, who was two years her senior on the tennis team, Davis was drawn to the idea of becoming a Demon Deacon. “It’s corny, but I got that feeling when I first got on campus that this was the right place,” Davis said of her recruitment and visit with Guerin. “It was a mix of I knew it was really good academically and the team was great. But what really attracted me to Wake Forest was the culture Coach (Jeff) Wyshner told me about.” In high school, Davis never allowed tennis to occupy her whole life, in part because her parents insisted she live a normal life. Throughout grade school she had commitments that stretched beyond the tennis court, which for her made tennis all the more enjoyable. So when Davis learned of Wyshner’s commitment to



ensuring his players have balance in their lives, her decision to commit to Wake Forest as a high school junior was made clear. “Coach (Wyshner) stressed the idea that we were a family, that it wasn’t all about tennis,” recalled Davis. “This was huge for me because so many coaches can be one-sided with the mentality of just win-win-win, but Coach was just as much about the school aspect for us. He knows that we are not all going to play professional tennis and that there is a whole other life ahead and I really liked that.” The culture of the tennis team became all the more important for Davis when she considered leaving Wake Forest after her freshman year. As one who is very close with her family, leaving Massachusetts for North Carolina meant taking on an unfamiliar distance from those who knew her best. Davis has said that if it were not for the love and support she received from her new “family” who encouraged her to stay — especially teammates Anna Ulyashchenko and Joanna Zalewski — she would have allowed her homesickness to take her away from Wake Forest. Ulyashchenko and Zalewski both started at Wake Forest at the same time as Davis. Together they form a trio of three distinctly different personalities, which according to Davis, makes their friendship even stronger. “It works out really well,” said Davis of the difference among Ulyashchenko, Zalewski and herself. “Joanna is in the ROTC program here, which is unbelievably impressive. Her workload is 10 times that of the rest of us between playing ACC tennis, ROTC and a full schedule of classes. She works her butt off and will be stationed in South Korea next year. She’s just incredible.

“And Anna is an amazing tennis player and an even better person.” The three are now seniors and have been a part of some of the more exciting teams in recent Wake Forest history. During Davis’ junior year, when she made the climb to No. 1 in the lineup, the team traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to compete in the ITA Kickoff Weekend, hosted by Ohio State. In its first match there, Wake Forest defeated No. 18 Arkansas, 4-2, coming back after dropping the doubles point in an effort that earned the program’s first win over a top-20 opponent in two years. What made the weekend memorable, however, was the performance Davis put on in the weekend’s second match, this time against Ohio State. With a trip to the ITA Indoor Championships on the line for the first time in nearly two decades, Davis was determined to do her part to lift her team to victory. “This was the most memorable match of my Wake Forest career,” Davis said. “We were winning 3-2 when Joanna and I went to the third set tiebreaker and one of us had to win. It was like scoreboard watching. I was watching and saw Joanna was going down and so my coaches were telling me don’t look at the scoreboard, but it was so hard. We were on opposite banks so we couldn’t even see each other, but we could hear the cheers coming from the other’s court. It was terrible.” Davis ended up roaring back after dropping her first set to win the second set, 6-0. Then in a hard-fought third set she prevailed, 7-5, in the tiebreaker to give Wake Forest the victory. “Winning the tiebreaker was an amazing feeling since we hadn’t been to the ITA Indoor Championships in so long,” Davis recalled. As Davis concludes her Wake Forest career, she is proud of her team’s achievements but even prouder of the balance she has found as a student-athlete. Majoring in Business and Enterprise Management, with a concentration in new business development was important for Davis, who aspires to open a tennis club of her own one day. Davis has f lourished

in the classroom and discovered how she can possibly combine her love for tennis with her aspirations in the business realm. Before pursuing her business interests, though, Davis plans to remain in Winston-Salem as her home base as she continues to train and enter tennis tournaments across the world. “I want to travel, see the world a bit and see what it is like to play professional tennis,” she said. “Twenty years from now I will have no regrets knowing that I gave professional tennis a try. Who knows how successful I will be, but I look forward to working hard to find out.” Kyle Tatich is a 2018 Wake Forest graduate and former sports editor of the “Old Gold & Black” newspaper. Following this year as the Wake Forest Fellow in the Athletic Department, he will enroll in the Wake Forest Law class of 2022.

EMMA DAVIS HEIGHT: 5-6 CLASS: Senior POSITION IN LINEUP: No. 1 MAJOR: Business and Enterprise Management HOMETOWN: Cohasset, Mass. FAVORITE WAKE FOREST MOMENT: Winning a match last year against Ohio State when she prevailed in the deciding match in an exciting 4-2 triumph that propelled the Deacons to the ITA Indoor Championships for the first time in nearly two decades. MAY 2019



// PAT R I C K F R I C K




By Sam Walker


very player, no matter the sport, longs to improve and become more impactful with each successive season. The reality of sports shows that it is not always a linear process.

Patrick Frick, however, came to Wake Forest in 2017 as a freshman ready to make his mark at the collegiate level and has served as a versatile player who provides quite a punch at the plate. “He has been far and away our most consistent player this year,” Wake Forest head coach Tom Walter said. “He has been somebody we can ask to have quality at-bats every time out. Since we moved him to the top of the order, our offense has really started to gel. At the beginning of the year, he was sometimes hitting seventh and sometimes eighth, but he hit his stride, and we moved him up into the two hole, and his offense has taken off because he has been setting the table for (Chris) Lanzilli and (Bobby) Seymour. “Since we moved him to shortstop, we have been a better defensive club, too, because we’ve gotten better at second and third. I’m really pleased with our defense with him as our anchor.” Through 41 games, Frick ranked third in the ACC with a .376 batting average to go along with nine doubles, four homers, 35 RBIs and six stolen bases. He was also fourth in the conference in on-base percentage (.475). On Feb. 27, Frick had a walk-off single to lift the Deacons to a 10th inning 2-1 victory over UNC-Greensboro. Frick was named the ACC Player of the Week March 25 after he hit .589 (9 for 16) the previous week with a homer, double and six RBIs, including a game-winning single in the 12th inning at Duke in the seriesclinching win March 24. Frick found March to be a particularly productive month, driving home 23 RBIs while posting a .444 batting average to lead the team, with five doubles, three homers and getting on base in more than half of his plate appearances (.517). Wake Forest went on to win four of its next five conference series from Duke, Virginia Tech, Pitt and eighth-ranked NC State. The 6-2 junior from Greenville, S.C., has seen the field ever since he was a freshman. That first season, Frick played in 22 games and made 13 starts, seeing action at shortstop, second base and right field. His role increased as a sophomore, playing in 54 games and making 53 starts – completing the season with a .290 average, 12 doubles, three home runs, 31 RBIs and six stolen bases. “Coming in my freshman year and watching guys like Gavin Sheets and Stuart Fairchild, they just showed me how hard you have to work to be good,” Frick said. “Last year we didn’t have the season we would like, so going into the offseason we wanted to come back and prove we are a better team than we showed last year and proving it to ourselves. “Having the guys from our past teams come in and work out in the offseason was good. They had been through the same thing we had, so not only did they know how to deal with it on the college level, but also on the pro level.” Frick also represents three generations of baseball players in his family going back to his grandfather Dr. Talmage Frick, who played baseball at Clemson. Patrick is the son of Tod and Eva Frick, and his father played baseball at Miami Dade University, Florida Southern College and in the minor leagues with the Oakland Athletics’ organization. Tod was a catcher who was drafted in the 44th round of the 1991 Major League Baseball amateur draft and played for the Southern Oregon A’s of the Northwest League. His uncle, Chad Frick,

also played at Miami Dade and Florida Southern. So the culture of baseball has always been familiar to Frick. “I was always around my dad, who played baseball in college, and my grandma, who played softball in college, and my uncle, who also played baseball in college,” Frick said. “They had stories about my grandfather, who played at Clemson. I grew up going to Clemson games and South Carolina games. My dad played for the A’s in Oregon and had some knee problems as a catcher throughout his career. I started playing at age 5 or 6, and I knew it was something I wanted to do every day. It was always the sport I was best at.” Walter said that Frick arrived at Wake Forest weighing about 170 and knew he had to get stronger. “As he has grown into his frame, he is a really good athlete – slender but strong – so I think that linear progression he has had has a lot to do with that high baseball IQ,” Walter said. “Our strength coach Mark Seaver has done a great job getting Pat physically where he needs to be. Pat has been all baseball all the time growing up around the game and on the fields and having the conversation around the dinner table. But he made an academic decision, too, when he came here to Wake Forest. However, he wanted to come in and play, and his freshman year we went to a Super Regional. But that consistency and upbringing are what has made the difference day to day. “If you had asked me last year if he was going to be a junior draftee and somebody we lose after this year, I would have said probably not. But if you ask me today, I say absolutely. I think somebody is going to draft him somewhere good enough where it makes sense for him to go sign and play. He is going to be a professional baseball player, and I would say it will be at the end of this season. And good for him. He has put the work in, he’s earned it, and we’re in full support of that.”

PATRICK FRICK POSITION: Shortstop HEIGHT: 6-2 WEIGHT: 200 CLASS: Junior MAJOR: Economics HOMETOWN: Greenville, S.C. FAVORITE BOOK: “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien FAVORITE FOOD: Ribeye steak (medium rare) FAVORITE ATHLETE: Francisco Lindor (Cleveland Indians) FAVORITE WAKE FOREST MOMENT: Hosting an NCAA Regional (2017) and advancing to the 2017 Super Regional MAY 2019



// S TA N C O T T E N

Spring Cleaning


Any of you spring cleaners? You know, let things kind of go through the winter using the cold months as an excuse not to really do much and then use the spring to slowly get back into things and get squared away again for the summer? I’ll admit I do that. I mean, there are a lot of basketball games during the winter – who has the time?! Well, thank goodness the Deacons don’t take spring as a time to slowly work back into form. Spring has become a time for Wake to shine, and it’s an awful lot of fun watching the ‘Spring Deacs’ do their thing. I can’t cover them all in this space but… I know many of you were like I was watching senior golfer Jennifer Kupcho maneuver her way around Amen Corner and into history as she claimed the first-ever Augusta National Women’s Amateur. I was working baseball that Saturday but recorded it and watched it early, early Sunday morning. Mesmerized. There isn’t a bigger spring stage than Augusta National, but until this year it had always been reserved for the men. The Masters is always a blockbuster, and this year was one for the ages as Tiger Woods reclaimed past glory winning a fifth Green Jacket. But the week before, Kupcho was the one towering among the Georgia pines as the reigning

NCAA Champion tackled her final six holes in 5-under par to erase a two-shot deficit and win going away over her best friend, Arkansas stalwart Maria Fassi. It was Masterful, and Kupcho can never be replaced as the first woman to win at Augusta. And Kim Lewellen’s women’s golf team is so deep it didn’t even need Kupcho in top form to win this year’s ACC title. Emilia Migliaccio was the individual champion, teammate Siyun Liu right behind her in second place and the Deacons lapped the field to win by eight. Masterful, indeed. And don’t sleep on the Boys of Spring, either. As of this writing the baseball Deacons are 10-3 in April, have not lost to a non-ACC team since March and have won their last three ACC series against Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh on the road, and No. 8 N.C. State with a down seven runs, come-frombehind win in the rubber game over a Wolfpack team that started the season 19-0 and, in one poll, No. 1 in the country. As I bang this out, the Demon Deacons lead the ACC in home runs, first baseman Bobby Seymour paces the league in RBIs, and nobody has been able to figure out the backside of the Wake bullpen. William Fleming, Antonio Menendez and Bobby

Hearn each has an ERA under 3.00 on the mound. Fleming has six saves, opponents are hitting just .176 against Hearn, and Menendez is 5-1 and has 53 strikeouts. Coach Tom Walter wasn’t shy as the season began saying he felt his team would make the NCAA Tournament, where two years ago Wake was an out away from the College World Series. The start to the spring was slower than anticipated, but today (April 24) the Deacons are beginning to play into form. Here’s hoping and trusting that’ll still be the case when you read this. And men’s tennis continues to dominate the ACC. After barreling through the league at 12-0 and successfully defending their ACC title from a season ago, the Deacs and Petros Chrysochos should be right there in the hunt for national success again. And on my way out the door with this column I wanted to tip my cap to Ron Wellman. He and Ben Sutton brought me here, and I will be forever grateful to Ron for his leadership and friendship and for the opportunity to make Wake Forest my home. Wow, that was 23 years ago now. Thank you, Ron. Job very, very well done.


Stan Cotten poses for a photo with Tennessee play-by-play announcer Bob Kesling at Tennessee’s Orange and White game at Neyland Stadium.



Wake Forest play-by-play announcer Stan Cotten was honored with the Lindsey Nelson Award, given annually to an outstanding broadcaster who has helped advance the game of college football. The award was presented by the Knoxville Quarterback Club April 13 at the East Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame brunch at the Southern Depot in Knoxville. Cotten, a native of Knoxville, was recognized at Tennessee's Orange and White game later the same day. Cotten is in his 23rd year as the "Voice of the Demon Deacons" on the Wake Forest Sports Network from Learfield IMG College. He is a four-time North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year recipient as voted on by his peers in the National Sports Media Association.

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MAY 2019



A Legacy to Remember


On Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007, at 8 a.m., my wife, Beth, and daughters Spencer (age 7), Sophie (age 5) and Olivia (age 1) waited anxiously in the Pepsi Lot of the LJVM Coliseum. Spencer rested on my shoulders and Ron Wellman was standing in front of me as the countdown for the demolition of the old Groves Stadium press box began. KAAAABOOOOM! The explosion was louder than any of us expected, and at that point, the old press box — a relic of the past and symbol of mediocrity — was instantly demolished. As it came crumbling down, there was a sense of anxiety among our staff that there was no turning back, but we were all excited about what the future would hold. Five years prior, Ron convened a planning group, hired an architect and commenced the process of transforming Groves Stadium, all with two primary goals in mind. As a long time Midwesterner, he wanted to create the Wrigley Field of college football and, ultimately, win an ACC Championship. Over the course of the next four years, we visited a variety of collegiate and professional stadiums,

gathering information on best practices, talking to people about what they liked (and didn’t like), and dreaming of what the future would look like. We developed plans and then we just had to wait for the right moment. With a $48 million financial plan in place with BB&T as a critical naming rights partner, along with significant quiet phase funding, we were granted authority to launch the public plan and showcase our vision. We unveiled the plans to a packed Snead Club Room with a scaled model and a presentation. To say the crowd was awestruck is an understatement. The presentation shared the vision that successful football could transform



our University by showcasing Wake Forest on the national television stage, increasing exposure, and leading to millions of dollars of economic impact for Winston-Salem, all while providing a rallying spirit for the entire community. While revealing our plans, we also publicly stated that our goal was to win an ACC Championship. At the time, with Wake Forest picked to finish last in our division, this sounded like a stretch to some, but with Ron’s incredible leadership and vision, we set out to achieve this goal. On Aug. 1, 2006, we launched our efforts and had 60 days to get at least 75 percent of the premium seating sold. We quickly accomplished that goal and altered our plans to accommodate the increased demand. Jim Grobe and his staff certainly did their part by going on to win the ACC Championship that year. Wake Forest football was forever changed after that and, now, BB&T Field is one of the finest college football stadiums in the country. Four years later in 2010, we set out to address our athletic facilities on campus and, again, Ron put forth a bold proposal, highlighted by a $70 million sports performance center as a signature opportunity through the Wake Will campaign. Our on-campus facilities were certainly behind those of our competitors, and we needed a transformative plan to address the situation. After visiting several campuses, with the leadership of Ben Sutton, we settled on a direction and began the process of fundraising. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to secure a multitude of transformative gifts. Fast forward to a Tuesday morning in the fall of 2016, when we were in a facilities planning meeting, preparing for an upcoming Board of Trustees meeting. Mit Shah had just committed $5 million to name the Shah Basketball Complex, Ben Sutton had committed $10 million to name the Sutton Sports Performance Center, and Bob McCreary had previously committed $12.5 million to name McCreary Field House. Despite the incredible support from over 1,000 generous Deacon Club members — and with $62 million in hand — we were still approximately $8 million short. One month prior, however, at the Wake Forest versus Indiana football game, Ron and I provided an additional $15 million opportunity to Bob McCreary to finish off the Sutton Sports Performance Center, and we were awaiting his response. But with the Board of Trustees meeting quickly approaching, we were still short on the funding, construction deadlines were looming, and the anxiety of our staff was certainly present in that room. Similar to Chip Vaughn’s blocked field goal versus Duke in 2006, we needed a miracle. Suddenly, a text message interrupted our meeting


and I looked at my phone and said, “Ron, this is a message from Bob.” He replied, stating, “Well, read it.” Upon opening the text message, it indicated that Bob was increasing his commitment by $15 million. We all jumped out of our seats jubilantly, high-fiving and hugging one another. At that point, I remember looking over to our chief financial officer, Randy Casstevens, each realizing the magnitude of what just transpired. Our transformative vision would now be a reality on the Reynolda Campus, creating our own Wake Forest Athletics Mount Rushmore of sorts. Upon completion, the Miller Center, Shah Basketball Complex, Sutton Sports Performance Center and McCreary Field House will all be connected, creating an unbelievable, state-of-the-art complex, and completing Ron’s legacy of a facilities transformation. The $70 million Sports Performance Complex will open this summer and touch the lives of every single Wake Forest student-athlete. My daughter, who perched on my shoulders for the demolition of the old Groves Stadium press box on that Sunday back in 2007, is now 19 years old, finishing her freshman year as a Demon Deacon track & field student-athlete, and will be one of the first to experience this transformative facility. While facilities have certainly been the hallmark of Ron’s accomplishments at Wake Forest, if I had to sum up Ron’s philosophy, it would be best described through our mission of Developing Champions. At a recent coaches’ dinner honoring

Ron, after each coach glowingly praised him as being a coaches’ athletic director, he gave a heartfelt toast. Filled with emotion, he implored the following to the coaches. “Winning is important; really, really important.” Holding back tears, he continued, “But as coaches, the lessons you provide, the values you instill and the character you develop in the young men and women you coach are truly invaluable. Please don’t ever take that for granted.”

deacon club photos Deacon Club members are encouraged to submit photos for publication in the Gold Rush. Send your photos in digital format to Submission of a photo does not guarantee that it will be published. Thanks for showing off your Demon Deacon pride!



1 Riley Skinner (’09) (left) and Aaron Curry (’08) (right) catch up with Coach Dave Clawson (center) at the 2019 Wake Forest Football Alumni Reunion networking event prior to serving as guest coaches at the annual Spring Game.


2 Wake Forest women’s soccer alumna Kate Parker (’98) stops by campus to speak with current female student-athletes about the inspiration behind her book “Strong Is the New Pretty.”

3 M  att James (’14 ) — a former football student-athlete — addresses a group of Deacon Club members, Wake Forest alumni and friends of the program in Wilmington, sharing what his scholarship meant to him and what he’s up to now.

MAY 2019



// F R A N K & P E N N Y R O S E

Establishing tennis scholarship is great fit for Rose family


ast May, Frank (’70, P ’02) and Penny (P ’02) Rose made the four-hour trip from Ahoskie to WinstonSalem to watch the Wake Forest men’s tennis team capture the 2018 NCAA Championship for the first time in program history. Six days later, the couple witnessed Petros Chrysochos (’19) become the first Demon Deacon men’s tennis player to claim the NCAA Singles Championship. While Frank and Penny both love tennis and are extremely passionate about Wake Forest, they were more invested than most in these historic accomplishments for one special reason — Petros is the recipient of the family’s athletic scholarship. “It was such a treat to have the NCAA Championships at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex last year and have the opportunity to be part of something so extraordinary at a place that means so much to us,” the couple reminisced. It all started back in 2007, however, when the Rose family first decided to establish a scholarship. Frank — a first generation college student — and Penny strongly believe in the benefits of higher education. “Wake Forest took a chance on me, and I wanted to somehow express my gratitude by giving back and helping others,” Frank stated. Although the Roses have been Deacon Club members since Frank graduated, when the opportunity to start an athletic scholarship was presented, the couple knew it was a great fit for them. “In thinking how we could get more involved, establishing our own scholarship emerged as an ideal option,” Frank and Penny shared. “Doing so enabled us to combine our passions while making a difference in areas that are important to and align with the values of our family.” When it came down to deciding what their scholarship fund would support, the Roses had no doubts about choosing tennis. Frank and Penny always had a strong interest in the sport, and Frank even played intramural tennis during his undergraduate years at Wake Forest. The couple has enjoyed that tennis offers the ability to stay fit while also serving as a social sport where you



can develop meaningful friendships. All three of their children — Chip, Laura (’02) and Taylor — have also been heavily involved in tennis throughout the years, proving the sport has had a positive impact on the entire family. As Frank and Penny reflect on their scholarship — the Frank Rose, Jr. Men’s Tennis Scholarship Fund — and the joy it has brought them, they have realized just how much that decision has affected their lives. Not only were they able to create a legacy to share and enjoy with their children and grandchildren, but having a scholarship has drastically enhanced the couple’s connection with the Wake Forest Athletic Department and University as a whole. “As time goes on, it isn’t hard to drift away, especially when you live out of town,” they said. “But with a scholarship, you have a great reason to stay connected.” One of the most rewarding parts of being an athletic scholarship donor is having the opportunity to cheer on and build relationships with the recipients, which is exactly what the Roses have done, and they encourage others to do the same. “Athletics gives you the opportunity to meet your recipient,” Frank stated. “If you want to make it happen, you can watch your studentathlete in his or her respective sport and get to know them.” With Petros as the current recipient of their scholarship, they’ve enjoyed watching the relationship evolve. What started off as a brief conversation or quick photo after a match, has progressed into a meaningful bond. Since he was first placed on their scholarship, Frank and Penny have attended an increased number of

matches each year, supporting Petros and the entire men’s tennis team as they continue to achieve soaring success. Although they reside more than 200 miles from the Wake Forest campus, the Roses try to attend as many matches as possible. This past February, the couple even had the opportunity to watch the team compete at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Chicago, Ill., as they happened to be nearby for a work-related trip. “Knowing Petros and cheering him on was a good excuse to take a break from work,” Frank recalled. Although Petros has achieved unparalleled success on the court, that’s not all the Roses are proud of. “He’s a magnificent athlete and a great student, but even more importantly, Petros is an incredibly kind person,” Penny remarked. “He’s such a fierce competitor, but after a match is over, you’ll see him take the time to talk to young kids who look up to him or take a photo with someone who asks. It has been an honor to get to know Petros and see all that he’s accomplished, both on and off the court, and we look forward to cheering him on in his future endeavors.” The relationships that form between athletic scholarship donors and their recipients are incredibly special, not only for the donor families, but also for the student-athletes. “Mr. and Mrs. Rose have been two of my biggest supporters,” Petros shared. “They rarely miss a match, and knowing they provided me with the opportunity to be at Wake Forest makes it even more exciting for me to show up and compete. They are incredible people and I am truly lucky I’ve had the opportunity to get to know them. I know for a fact that I will stay in touch with them in the future.”

To learn more about scholarship support, please contact Mike Piscetelli at (336) 758-3647 or

REMINDER: DEACON CLUB DONATION DEADLINE IS MAY 31 Don’t forget to renew your Deacon Club membership and continue supporting Wake Forest student-athletes! Please note that payments on all outstanding pledges and balances for the 2018-19 year are due by May 31. Payments can be made online at Donate or by phone at (336) 758-5626. You can also mail checks (made payable to Wake Forest University) to 499 Deacon Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27105.

Keep up with the Deacon Club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! For the latest news and information from the Deacon Club and to connect with other members, be sure to find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! @WFUDeaconClub @WFUDeaconClub | @DeacOnTheRun @BarryFaircloth

SAVE THE DATE: 2019 WAKE FOREST GOLF PRO-AM Mark your calendar for the 2019 Wake Forest Pro-Am! The reception will be held at Haddock House on Sunday, Oct. 13, with the pro-am taking place at Old Town Club on Monday, Oct. 14. For more information, please call (336) 758-6000.

2019 FOOTBALL SEASON TICKETS AND CUSTOMIZED PACKAGES ON SALE NOW Coming off back-to-back-to-back bowl championships, the Demon Deacons will host seven home games in 2019, including matchups with UNC, NC State, Duke, Florida State and Louisville. You can order your season tickets or customized two, three, or four game packages by calling the Wake Forest Athletics Sales Team at (336) 758-3322 ext. 1 or by visiting We’re expecting sellout crowds this fall, so be sure to get your tickets while they’re still available!

MAY 2019






s an undergraduate in the mid-70s, Rick Hazlett (’77) played on the Demon Deacon baseball squad and the freshman/JV basketball team. Since graduating from Wake Forest, he has spent thousands of hours coaching children in youth sports. Hazlett currently lives in Charlotte, N.C. with his wife, Barbara. As a contribution to Demon Deacon athletics, the Hazlett family recently established a baseball endowed scholarship to support the future of the program.

RICK HAZLETT When did you graduate from Wake Forest? 1977 What was your major and/or minor? Economics What does being a Demon Deacon mean to you? Wake Forest gave me the opportunity to compete against, and develop relationships with, kids from all over the country who each brought their diverse abilities and viewpoints to the University. While there, I had the opportunity to learn from the best professors in a quality liberal arts curriculum. We all endured a rigorous academic environment and, at the same time, had access to the same athletic experience that the larger universities provide their students. When you finish your years at Wake, you have a bond derived from that experience that I believe is unique when compared to other universities. Why are you still involved in Wake Forest Athletics? I feel it is important to support the athletic efforts of Wake Forest so it can maintain competitive athletic programs and allow as many student-athletes as possible to participate.

Why do you feel it is important to give back to the University? I was able to play baseball and was on the freshman/JV basketball team for the last two years it existed. I used what I learned at Wake Forest to get through law school and find work in a rewarding profession. I have been able to give back to the community during my work years by coaching hundreds of kids for over 25 years in various sports such as basketball, baseball and softball. I have been able to give back to Wake Forest directly through financial support and by teaching as an adjunct professor at the law school. I firmly believe my education and athletic experience at Wake Forest provided me the necessary foundation for my professional and community efforts. I feel it is important to give back to Wake Forest as a sort of “thank you” for the foundation and opportunities it provided me, and also because I hope my support will help provide others with the same opportunities I had. What is your current occupation? Partner at Moore & Van Allen, a law firm in Charlotte, where my practice consists mostly of finance and corporate work. I obtained a law degree at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1980. What is your favorite memory of your time at Wake Forest? From an athletic point of view, my favorite memories are starting my first baseball game on the road against the University of Georgia as a freshman when we beat them and, while on the JV basketball team, our upset of the UNC Tar Heel JV team in a game where I contributed 35 points. From an academic point of view, my favorite memory is



being challenged in the economics department by some excellent professors to work hard and stretch my mind. What makes you most proud of Wake Forest? The school does a great job of providing a top-quality education and a competitive athletic program in a small school environment. We have such a small — but similarly experienced alumni group — that whenever I need to find an attorney in another state to consult with, I always look for one with a Wake Forest connection and have always had good results. When you come back to Wake Forest, you always… Drive by Davis dormitory and point out to my family, to their annoyance, the dorm room I had my freshman year — Davis 308C — and entertain them with stories of the antics of the eight guys that lived in that suite learning to handle independence. I was there when… College baseball switched from wooden bats to aluminum bats (I still have my last wooden bat), and hot topics on campus included saving the winter term and whether men could go into the girls’ dormitories. Who is your favorite coach at Wake Forest, current or past? My basketball coach, Stafford Stephenson, who treated me fairly and taught me a lot about coaching that I was able to use later when I coached. I also think highly of former football coach Jim Grobe. His efforts gave me the chance to take my family to an ACC Football Championship game and the Orange Bowl in the same year, which may never happen again (hopefully I’m wrong!).

get e D AC ON ! G O D EA CS


Sept. 20-21 H O M E C O M I N G .W F U . E D U #WFUHC


// T O D D H A I R S T O N


With graduation just around the corner, it’s probably a good idea to think about what, if any, NCAA rules still pertain to former studentathletes once they have graduated. For example, is it permissible to buy a graduation gift for a senior student-athlete? We all know that benefits to current studentathletes are not permissible. However, one might assume that once a student-athlete graduates, all NCAA rules are lifted. In reality, the NCAA does still place certain restrictions on the types of benefits

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these individuals can receive. These stipulations exist to prevent the promise of benefits after graduation from being used as a recruiting inducement. However, NCAA rules do permit donors and other institutional representatives to provide gifts and benefits of nominal value to studentathletes on an occasional basis following graduation. So it would be permissible to provide a graduating student-athlete with a gift, provided the value does not exceed $50, which is the NCAA’s general definition of “nominal value.” The one condition to this exception, however, is that such benefits are only permissible if Wake Forest is not currently recruiting a relative of the former student-athlete. Therefore, prior to providing a benefit to a former student-athlete, it is extremely important that you check with the Athletics Compliance Office beforehand. Additionally, it is permissible for the athletic department to provide a gift to a graduating senior. NCAA legislation allows each senior studentathlete to receive a gift up to a value of $425. Typically, these gifts are in the form of the framed jerseys and commemorative balls that students receive on senior night. For other questions related to this, or any other compliance-related issue, please contact me at


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Gold Rush - May 2019