The Athletic Program 331
Another significant change came on January 5, 1960, when Paul
Amen resigned as head football coach to take a position with Wach-
ovia Bank. Bill Hildebrand, who had been Amen's chief assistant for
four years, was promoted to the top job under a three-year contract.
He previously had coached at Mississippi State University, the
University of Tennessee, the University of Minnesota, and Whitworth
In Norm Snead's senior year of 1960, Wake Forest won only two
games, a 13-12 squeaker over Carolina and a 28-20 thriller over
Virginia. At the end of the season, however, the sensational quar-
terback emerged as the nation's leader in passing, with 1,176 yards.
During his career Snead set sixteen Atlantic Coast Conference rec-
ords, and he broke the team record for total offense set in 1945 by
Nick Sacrinty. Snead went on to a picturesque career in professional
football and maintained close ties with his alma mater all the while.
The year 1961 was a so-so football experience, with a 4-6 record
highlighted by victories over Carolina, VPI, Virginia, and Clemson.
The next two years were once again the Slough of Despond, with no
wins at all in 1962 and only one in 1963, a season in which the team
went scoreless in seven games. That was despite the heroics of a
talented back out of Chicago whose name was Brian Piccolo. On a
losing team "Pic" was personally a winner. He electrified the crowds
with his elusive running and was one of the most popular men on a
campus where athletes had increasingly withdrawn from the academic
But in 1962 and 1963, one man did not a team make, and on
December 4, Hildebrand and Gibson were relieved of their duties.
The football coach had won seven games and lost thirty-three, and he
had the wry distinction of having lost eighteen consecutive games at
one point. For coaches and athletic directors, Wake Forest had
become a revolving door. In February 1964. William L. Tate, an
assistant at the University of Illinois, was signed to a four-year con-
tract as head football coach. A former marine who had played for the
Chicago Bears, he was chosen from a hundred and twenty-five
applicants, sixty of whom had been interviewed.
Shortly after Tate was selected, Dr. G. Eugene Hooks, professor of
physical education, was named athletic director over thirty-four other
applicants. Hooks, Class of 1950, had been an All-American baseball
player on the 1949 team that went to the finals of the na-