164 The History of Wake Forest
to build the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial
Coliseum, which opened in 1989; Wake Forest’s
involvement encouraged the citizens of Win-
ston-Salem to pass the coliseum bonds after two
earlier referenda had failed. Between the build-
ing of Groves Stadium and the Joel Coliseum,
Wake Forest built or renovated the indoor ten-
nis courts near Groves Stadium; an athletic cen-
ter for practice, training, and study; new football
offices in the Pruitt Football Wing of the Athletic
Center; Kentner Stadium; Spry Stadium; Leigh-
ton Tennis Stadium; the Caldwell Golf Complex;
a cross country course; practice fields; varsity
locker rooms; and a sports medicine clinic. In
acknowledging just part of Hooks’s legacy, Presi-
dent Hearn wrote to J. Brent Mudd of Raleigh
on October 7, “in the last four years, the University has spent over $15 million
on improving its athletic facilities.” In recognition and appreciation of Hooks’s
accomplishments, the modern baseball stadium that replaced the campus base-
ball field in 1988 was named for him.
Hearn honored Hooks’s wish about a timeline for his replacement and on June
3 appointed Ed Wilson to chair a search committee for a new Director of Athlet-
ics. Ben Sutton recommended Ron Wellman, Athletic Director at Illinois State Uni-
versity and former baseball coach at Northwestern University. Wellman had visited
Wake Forest twice, once as the Northwestern coach and again as Athletic Direc-
tor when the Redbirds played the Deacons in football in September 1988. On both
Gene Hooks
Ron Wellman became the new Athletic Director in the Fall of 1992
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