94 THE HISTORY OF WAKE FOREST COLLEGE
he preferred coaching to administration. He nevertheless yielded to
Tribble's entreaties, and he recalls that he had trouble with the pres-
ident from the start.2
Preston, who had been paid $5,800 as line coach, had been led to
believe that his salary as athletic director would be seven thousand,
but Tribble cut that back to six on the basis of Preston's youth,
inexperience, and the prevailing faculty wage scale, which was con-
siderably lower. Promised annual wage increases of five-hundred
dollars also were not forthcoming.
In the first year of Preston's tenure as the athletic director, Wake
Forest had an exceptionally fine baseball team, and one of Preston's
duties was to make sure that the team scheduled no Sunday games. He
was able to manage that during the regular season, but when the team,
as Atlantic Coast Conference champions, went to the national finals in
Omaha that June, Preston was unable to control the schedule, which
was prepared over a period of five days by the NCAA. Wake Forest
was required to play on a Sunday, and the date created a furor in
North Carolina Baptist circles. Preston got part of the blame.
Wake Forest did win the national championship, the first ever by a
team representing the college, and Coach Taylor Sanford was voted
the Coach of the Year. Shortly afterward Preston was dumbfounded
when Tribble directed him to discharge Sanford on the basis of
rumors about the coach's personal life. The winning coach did, in fact,
resign early in 1956, at the time issuing a bitter blast at the college for
its failure to provide job security. He said he was "disillusioned and
deeply hurt by my situation here."
During the basketball season in 1955, Preston related, he was di-
rected by Dr. Tribble to fire Coach Murray Greason on the grounds
that Greason had failed to teach his players how to shoot free throws.
Realizing that Greason was one of the finest athletes Wake Forest had
ever produced and that he was well liked as a coach and as a member
of the community, Preston refused to comply.
None of this infighting was ever made public, but Preston did tell
the Athletic Council, as well as Watkins and Stanley, some of the
problems he was having. He was urged to remain on the job and
assured that the pending investigation would result in Tribble's
removal and a redress of his salary and administrative grievances.