218 The History of Wake Forest
Construction of a new campus
soccer stadium and practice com-
plex on Polo Field began in Febru-
ary. The new stadium was named in
honor of W. Dennie Spry, a retired
partner in the Winston-Salem law
firm of Allman, Spry, Leggett, and
Crumpler. The University received a
significant gift from Spry’s son, Bill,
a long-time Deacon Club member
and a major supporter of the soc-
cer programs. The new stadium was
planned with a seating capacity of 3,000.
On June 28, ground was broken for a new, $8 million Bridger Field House at
Groves Stadium after the old Bridger Field House had been torn down. The new
facility featured not only locker and training rooms, but also banquet and meeting
rooms, office space, and the Sports Hall of Fame. Construction would soon begin
on a new indoor tennis center adjacent to the field house, slated for completion in
January 1996. The 64,000-square-foot facility would feature eight tennis courts,
locker rooms, and a training room.
Mary Jones, an assistant coach at Florida, was hired in July 1995 to be the first
head coach of the revived women’s volleyball program, which became Wake Forest’s
eighteenth varsity team in August 1996.
Wake Forest served as the host institution for the 1995 NCAA Division I Field
Hockey Championship. The University also hosted the Olympic Torch as runners
carried the flame through the campus on June 24. Students, faculty, administrators,
and Winston-Salem residents lined the streets.
Many students were recognized for individual achievements in their athletic spe-
cialty. In track and field, senior Andy Bloom won the ACC shot put and discus titles
for the second year in a row in April. He went on to capture the national shot put
and discus titles at the NCAA Championships in June. Trina Bindel won the women’s
heptathlon at the ACC track and field championship in spring 1996 for the second
consecutive year.
Bill Armstrong (football), Jim Simons (collegiate golfer of the year in 1971), and
Brick Smith (baseball) were inducted into the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame on
January 13.
Mac McDonald, “the Voice of the Demon Deacons,” was voted North Carolina
Sportscaster of the Year by the state’s members of the National Sportscasters and
Sportswriters Association.
Rusty LaRue was written up in a March 21 New York Times article, “Wake Forest’s
‘Daddy’ Balances His Priorities.” Selected to the GTE Academic All-American Dis-
trict Basketball Team, LaRue became the first ACC athlete since 1954 to play football,
basketball, and baseball in the same season. He was a computer science major with a
3.2 grade point average, and since the summer before his freshman year he had been
involved in research funded by the National Science Foundation. Robert Plemmons
(’61, Mathematics and Computer Science) was LaRue’s mentor. Plemmons had been
Spry Stadium
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