Chapter Two: 1984–1985 31
Athletics
It was a good year for Deacon sports in both the short and long terms. In football, Wake
Forest was undisputed champion of North Carolina’s Big Four with wins over UNC,
NC State, and Duke. However, the overall team record was six wins and five losses.
In women’s sports, the basketball team had a winning regular season record at
14–12, its first since 1972–1973. The cross country team topped a seven-team field at
the UNC-Charlotte Invitational, winning their first meet in their seven-year history.
Later, they took twelfth place at the District III meet to conclude their best season.
A long-term benefit for the Athletic Department was seeded in June 1985 when
the City of Winston-Salem passed a bond referendum to build a new coliseum by a
margin of 4 to 1. Memorial Coliseum was in poor shape, and four of the men’s bas-
ketball team’s seven home ACC games had to be played in Greensboro, with atten-
dant inconvenience and loss of fan support. When the new coliseum was built, the
Deacons could play all of their games in Winston-Salem again. Wake Forest also took
a step forward in publicizing its revenue-generating teams by entering into a new
multiyear agreement with Brookmont Communications of Nashville, Tennessee.
The company would broadcast mainly football and basketball games via satellite, a
switchover from phone-line transmission, and promised to bring Wake Forest sports
to more markets, particularly Charlotte and Raleigh.
In the Athletic Department, Cook Griffin (’65) was named new Executive Direc-
tor of the Deacon Club. He was the husband of Julie Davis (’69). The previous direc-
tor, Bob Bartholomew (’57), a Wake Forest Hall of Fame football player, was killed
in an automobile accident on April 19. In another change, Jim Leighton, the men’s
tennis coach, retired. He had served since 1963, compiling a record of 277 wins to 172
losses, and had been named ACC Coach of the Year in 1981. He was deeply admired,
respected, and loved. As former player Ken West (’70) wrote in a personal letter:
Jim Leighton was the Best Man in my wedding in 1973 but he was also the
Best Man in my life. For so many of us, Coach and his insightful, talented wife,
Betty, provided a home and unconditional love when we most needed sup-
port. Coach was inducted into the NCAA and Wake Forest Halls of Fame for
his astonishing tennis excellence still seen in his ground-breaking book Inside
Tennis. Each day players would arrive early for practice or stay late to improve
techniques, and also to hear Coach’s wisdom, to listen to his stories and to
leave feeling more special than when we arrived.
Men’s golf coach Jesse Haddock celebrated his twenty-fifth year at the helm, having
produced fifty-one All-Americans, two NCAA team championships, four NCAA indi-
vidual champions, seventeen ACC championships, and nineteen individual medalists.
Gil McGregor (’71) became the athletic program’s Academic Advisor and Place-
ment Director. He succeeded Bill Faircloth (’64), who became a full-time Assistant
Athletic Director.
In a bizarre and frightening incident, Warren B. Brooks of Clemmons, a former
industrial engineer with the City of Winston-Salem, threatened the life of basketball
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