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Wake Forest Deacons Jersey History
The players who wear the Wake Forest Demon Deacons black and gold jersey are a competitive force in six major sports: football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s field hockey, golf, soccer and baseball. Since entering into the twenty-first century the Deacons football team has really taken off. In 2006, wearing their black and gold Deacons jerseys they beat Georgia Tech 9-6 and won the ACC Atlantic Division Title and ACC Conference Championship. This allowed Wake Forest to become the smallest team to ever have the chance to compete in the Bowl Championship series.
The Deacons jerseys have qualified for the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship twenty times, and they reached the final four once in 1964. The Deacons have graduated many famous professional basketball players such as Billy Packer, Mugsy Bogues, Tim Duncan, Josh Howard, Charlie Davis, Dave Budd and Chris Paul. The women’s basketball team has also worn their Deacon jerseys with pride often qualifying to compete in the NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship. The Wake Forest women’s hockey team has taken their Deacon jerseys even further than their basketball counterparts. They won the 2002, 2003, and 2004 NCAA Field Hockey National Championships.
Students wearing deacon golf jerseys won national championships in 1974, 1975, and 1986. Golf team deacons who have gone into professional golfing careers include Arnold Palmer, Darren Clarke, Billy Andrade, Gary Halberg, and Lanny Wadkins. The Wake Forest men’s soccer team is a relatively young team which first played in 1980 under the coaching of George Kennedy. Since then soccer players wearing the gold and black Deacon’s jerseys have also done exceptionally well. They won the ACC Regular Season Title in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2009. In 2007, they beat Ohio State 2-1 to secure the 2007 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship. The Wake Forest Baseball team distinguished their Deacon jerseys in 1955 when they won the College World Series. Players who wore Deacon jerseys before heading into professional baseball include Dave Bush, Matt Antonelli, Tommy Greg, and Cory Sullivan.
The gold and black of the Deacon jerseys date back to their first known use in 1895, when student John M. Heck incorporated them into the design of a college badge which featured a tiger’s head over the acronym WFC. Although Wake Forest university has held on to the gold and black for its Deacon jerseys, the tiger mascot lasted only until the early 1920s. In 1923, the school’s newspaper editor Mayron Parker began calling the men wearing the gold and black jerseys the Demon deacons. Wake Forest’s news director Henry Belk liked Mayron’s nickname for the team and began using it generously. Between the two men’s writing and speaking, the name stuck.