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| the history of wake forest
fired. Harper’s supporters in the Wake Forest community were
outspokenly bitter, especially because he had been given such a
short time to prove his merit, and he found satisfaction in the un-
expected defeat of Duke the Saturday after his dismissal, but by
that time the University was already thinking about his successor.
In January Chuck Mills, who had been
head coach at Utah State, was appointed:
the sixth football coach at Wake Forest
since the move to Winston-Salem.
Basketball, under Carl Tacy in his
first year, finished last in the Confer-
ence during the regular season—the
first time Wake Forest had ever occu-
pied such a low place in the ACC—but
the team redeemed itself during the first
round of the Conference Tournament
when it defeated first-place UNC in
overtime by a score of 54–52. Never
before in tournament history had a
bottom-seeded team ousted a top-seeded
team, and Wake Foresters called the
victory “the greatest upset in ACC Tour-
nament history.” Students celebrated
wildly, rolling in the mud that had been
accumulating on the quad from recent rains. Tacy and his players
were widely acclaimed, and basketball’s future seemed bright again.
Members of the faculty began to express concern not so much
about athletic successes and failures as about whether Wake Forest
really belonged in the Atlantic Coast Conference. A resolution was
introduced in November to investigate the possibility of the Uni-
versity’s leaving the ACC to join some other group of schools with
“size and goals” like Wake Forest’s. After much debate a motion
was passed to initiate a “thorough study” of athletics at the Uni-
versity and to determine whether an athletic program of the type
being offered at Wake Forest was contrary to the purposes of a
liberal arts university.
Wake Forest was fortunate, throughout the sixteen years of the
Scales administration, to have as its Director of Athletics G. Eugene
Hooks, a 1950 graduate of the College who, after receiving an M.Ed.
Gene Hooks
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