Chapter Four: 1986–1987 61
The catchy number appeared on MTV, ESPN, and CNN and was noted in newspa-
pers in Atlanta and Charleston. Solo rappers were A.J. Greene, Paul Kiser, Tim Mor-
rison, Jamie Harris, and Darryl McGill.
On the basketball front, negotiations between the City of Winston-Salem and the
University for a new coliseum were successful. In a December 8 letter to Deacon Club
members, President Hearn wrote: “The University has agreed to contribute nearly
$5 million toward construction costs of the Coliseum. We need your help to meet
that commitment.” Members responded by contributing to The Advantage Drive,
and the President wrote to Joseph Branch on April 23: “Ground will be broken this
week on the new coliseum. Our approved participation ($5 million) is being secured
by a Deacon Club effort which now stands above $4.2 million. The coliseum will be
owned and operated by the city and be decorated as a Wake Forest home court. We
pay rent and they have the operating costs.”
Approximately 3,900 seats in the new coliseum were reserved for Wake Forest
students: 153 courtside seats, 744 seats in the lower arena, and 1,698 in the upper
level. Student enthusiasm had dwindled, however, under new basketball Head Coach
Bob Staak, who had failed to win a single ACC game (0–14) the previous season. The
Deacon Spirit, a group of “spirited students” who arrived thirty minutes before each
home game except those played over Christmas break and during exams, and sat
behind the Deacon bench, disbanded before the 1986 season began. It had formed
under former Coach Carl Tacy with the understanding that students would cheer on
the team with the cheerleaders in a positive manner and stay until the alma mater and
fight song had been played. Between 400 and 600 students signed up in the 1985–
1986 season, but by the end of most games, only around 50 were still in the stands,
and they often did not wear the T-shirts or use the shakers provided them. With the
break-up of the Deacon Spirit group, student seating did not change, and in a posi-
tive development, students continued to sit behind the bench.
They had much to cheer for, as Muggsy Bogues, the 5’3” sparkplug who had
helped lead the United States to the gold medal in the Goodwill Games the previous
summer, handled the basketball like a magician. The All-ACC player could not turn
the Deacons around, however, and Wake Forest suffered through a second losing
season under Coach Staak, finally breaking a twenty-four-game ACC losing streak by
beating Maryland 69–58 on February 2. Bogues’s jersey (#14) was retired at the end
of the season, and he went on to play for fourteen seasons in the National Basketball
Association, with one of the teams for which he played being the Charlotte Hornets.
In women’s cross-country, Francie Goodridge’s squad was ranked nineteenth
nationally by Harrier magazine. This was the first Deacon squad outside of football,
basketball, and men’s golf to be ranked nationally. The team was anchored by two
All-American runners, Jennifer Rioux and Karen Dunn, female athlete of the year in
1985 and the first Deacon woman to be named a Division I All-American. The team
finished second in the ACC Championships behind Clemson.
The field hockey team, with a 16–2 win-loss record, beat Appalachian State in a
2–1 shootout to claim the Big South championship.
A victim of Wake Forest’s emphasis on achieving excellence on and off the field
was the volleyball team. It was terminated in March of 1987 because it was not seen
as competitive.
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