Greatest Wake Forest Games/Sporting Accomplishments for Every Year in the Last Century

This is my fourth installment of the COVID-19 sports reflection lists that have become so popular on this blog.  To read the previous three articles in this anthology, you can click on the following links: the greatest college football regular season games by year, the greatest college football postseason games by year, and the greatest NCAA tournament games by year.  Now, I thought I would honor my alma mater by selecting the greatest Wake Forest game/sporting event for the past 100 years.  Dan Collins, the guys at Blogger So Dear, and other Wake enthusiasts have written many great historical accounts of Wake Sports, but no one to my knowledge, has actually selected Wake’s best athletic moment for every year of the past century like you will see below.  I relied on several online sources, as well as Dan Collins’ book Tales From the Wake Forest Hardwood for the information contained below.

You will see that almost 80% of the list contains events and games pertaining to the two most high profile collegiate sports: football and basketball.  Interestingly, you will see that there is a pretty even division between the number of football events and basketball events selected.  However, nine different Wake Forest varsity sports are contained on this list, so major achievements in smaller NCAA sports are also recognized in this article.

The reason this article is entitled greatest games and sporting accomplishments instead of just greatest games is two fold.  First of all, for regular season championships it is often times difficult to point to one particular game that defined the season.  Thus, it makes more sense to list the entire regular season championship as the accomplishment for a particular year.  Secondly, some sports, such as golf and cross country, don’t have “games” per se that can be won or loss.  They compete in tournaments, meets, and other competitions that belong on this list, despite the fact that they don’t fit in the framework of a particular game.  Without further ado, here are my selections for the Wake Forest game/sporting events of the year.  The games in bold I have rated as best of the decade.  Feel free to comment or debate.  I am certainly open to changing my selections for a particular year if someone makes a compelling argument to persuade me to choose a different game/event.

1921 Wake football beats Davidson 10-7 to get first win of season (October 15)

Bad year for Deacon sports as both basketball and football teams were bad. This narrow victory was a rare bright spot.

1922 Wake football beats Elon 3-0 to start season 2-1 (October 7)

In George Levene’s only season Deacs finished 3-5-2 thanks to this narrow home victory over Elon.

1923 Wake football beats Trinity (Duke) 16-6 (November 10)

The Demon Deacons (as they were first named in ’23) beat Trinity for just the second-time ever and first since 1886.

1924 Wake football beats North Carolina 7-6 in season opener (September 27)

Deacons have an impressive 7-2 season highlighted by this win over UNC. It is Wake’s first win over the Heels since an 1891 forfeit and it comes just two years after UNC beat them by 59 points!

1925 Wake football beats North Carolina 6-0 in Chapel Hill (September 26)

The Deacs beat the Heels in consecutive seasons for the first-time in school history.

1926 Wake football beats Duke 21-0 in Goldsboro (October 30)

No idea why this game was played in Goldsboro, but it would be Wake’s last win over the Blue Devils for 16 years.

1927 Wake basketball finishes with a 22-3 season

This still stands as the best winning percentage Wake has ever had in a basketball season. Too bad there wasn’t an NCAA tourney for them to play in at the time.

1928 Wake football beats Miami in season finale (December 25)

Big Christmas day victory over “The U” down in Coral Gables. This was first meeting between the two teams and the Canes won 8 out the next 10 meetings after this one. Going to Miami for Christmas is the functional equivalent of a bowl game.

1929 Wake football beats Mercer in season finale 13-0 (November 28)

Not the most impressive win from a name perspective but the victory was monumental in that it gave the Deacs a winning record in Pat Miller’s first season as coach.

1930 Wake football beats NC State 7-0 in Raleigh (October 16)

Miller’s success at Wake continues as he leads the Deacs to a 5-3-1 record in his second season including this narrow road victory over the Pack, which was their first win in this rivalry in six seasons.

1931 Wake football beats NC State 6-0 (October 16)

Back-to-back wins for the Deacs over State! This is an accomplishment that wouldn’t occur for the rest of the decade.

1932 Wake football beats South Carolina 6-0 in Charlotte (October 8)

The Deacs knock off the Gamecocks to get their first win of the season en route to a 3-3-2 campaign in Pat Miller’s final season as coach. Interestingly, he is the last coach in Wake history never to have a losing record with the program.

1933 Wake football ties NC State 0-0 (October 21)

Pretty bad when a scoreless tie is your biggest athletic achievement but when your football team goes 0-5–1 and your basketball team goes 5-8 there isn’t much to get excited about.

1934 Wake football beats NC State 13-12 (October 6)

Deacons beat State this time around in a one-point thriller.

1935 Wake football beats George Washington 7-6 (October 26)

A dreadful season for Wake sports as the football team finished 2-7 and basketball team finished 6-10.

1936 Wake football beats Clemson 6-0 (October 16)

The program’s first win over the future national powerhouse Tigers.  They have only earned 16 more wins in the last 82 meetings.

1937 Wake basketball has its first winning season in ten years in first year as member of the Southern Conference

The Deacs finished 3rd out if 16 teams in its first year in the Southern Conference by posting a 9-4 record in conference to go along with 15-6 overall record.

1938 Wake football beats South Carolina in Columbia (October 8)

The great Peahead Walker leads the Deacs to a tight victory over the Gamecocks in the schools’ first meeting in six seasons.

1939 Wake Forest basketball wins first regular season conference title as member of the Southern Conference

This championship qualified the Deacs for the first-ever NCAA basketball tournament. Unfortunately, Wake lost in the opening round (also the quarterfinals) to Ohio State.

1940 Wake football beats North Carolina 12-0 in Chapel Hill (September 28)

Coach Peahead Walker continues to build a successful football program as the Deacs knock off the Heels for the first time in 13 years en route to a 7-3 season.

1941 Wake football beats North Carolina 13-0 (October 25)

Wake football knocks off the Heels in consecutive seasons for the first time in 14 years.

1942 Wake football beats Duke 20-7 (October 3)

The Deacs pull off their first win over the Blue Devils in 16 seasons en route to a 6-1-1 SoCon record and third place conference finish.

1943 Wake football destroys NC State 54-6 (October 16)

The Deacs get their largest win in the history of this series by pummeling the Wolfpack in Raleigh.

1944 Wake football beats Georgia 14-7 in Athens (September 29)

The Deacs post their best winning percentage in school history in ’44 by going 8-1 with their only loss coming to the Rose Bowl champion Duke squad.

1945 Wake football upsets # 16 Clemson 13-6 (December 1)

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This is Wake’s first-ever victory over a ranked team in football, as the poll era did not begin until 1936.

1946 Wake football beats South Carolina 26-14 in the Gator Bowl (January 1)

1946 Gator Bowl

Deacs win their first-ever bowl game by defeating the Gamecocks to complete an impressive 5-3-1 campaign that saw them ranked for the first time in school history.

1947 Wake football upsets # 19 North Carolina in Chapel Hill 19-7 in Chapel Hill (October 11)

Remarkably, this was the third consecutive season the Deacs beat a ranked team on the road (’45- Clemson, ’46- Tennessee, ’47- UNC).  Postgame celebration pictured above.

1948 Wake football beats Duke 27-20 in Durham (November 6)

Wake gets its first win in six years over a quality Duke squad on the road en route to a berth in the Dixie Bowl.

1949 Wake Forest baseball wins Southern Conference Championship

Diamond Deacs win first conference championship in program history with impressive 31-4 record en route to runner-up finish in the NCAA tourney.  This is still Wake’s only regular season conference baseball title.

1950 Wake football beats South Carolina 14-7 in Peahead Walker’s last game (November 25)

South Carolina vs. Wake Forest (1950) - University of South ...

Legendary Deacon coach Peahead Walker rides off in the sunset after 14 seasons as Wake head coach with this narrow road victory to finish the season 6-1-2.

1951 Wake football beats Duke 19-13 for fourth straight win in Durham (November 10)

Duke vs. Wake Forest, 1951 Nov 10 / Duke Football Programs / Duke ...

The Deacs four game road win streak over Duke would not be seen again until my senior year in college in 2007.

1952 Wake basketball blows out # 6 Holy Cross 91-69 (December 31)

This New Year’s Eve massacre announced the revival of Deacon hoops under coach Murray Greason and star Dickie Hemric.

1953 Wake basketball wins first-ever conference tournament as member of the SoCon (March 7)

Looking for Relief from March Madness | Wake Forest Historical Museum

The Deacs knock off the 12th ranked Wolfpack by a single point in the last Southern Conference tournament final before the ACC was formed.

1954 Wake basketball knocks off # 9 ranked Duke 96-89 (January 12)

The Deacons hand the Blue Devils their only loss in ACC play for that entire ’53-54 season.

1955 Wake baseball wins their first and only College World Series (June 16)

John Stokoe, Member of 1955 CWS Team, Passes Away - Wake Forest ...

Shockingly, the Deacs were the only ACC team to win a college baseball world series until Virginia finally broke through in 2015.

1956 Wake basketball upsets # 8 Duke in Cameron 80-77 (February 11)

Wake actually beat Duke in two out of their three meetings this season en route to an impressive 19-9 campaign under coach Murray Greason.

1957 Wake men’s golf wins 2nd ACC title

The football team was winless in ’57 and while the basketball team was good, they didn’t really have a marquee victory. As a result, the golf team’s third conference championship (second in the ACC) takes the cake.

1958 Wake men’s golf wins 3rd ACC title

The golf team continues its reign of terror in the ACC with back-to-back championships.

1959 Wake football beats Florida State on the road 22-20 (September 20)

The Noles weren’t the powerhouse they are now at this, but retrospectively this was a huge victory because it was Wake’s first win over Florida State and the last Deac victory in Tallahassee until the Orange Bowl season of 2006.

1960 Wake basketball wins first ACC regular season title

In Bones McKinney’s third season, the Deacs shared their first ACC regular season championship with North Carolina. Unfortunately, a narrow loss in the ACC tourney final cost the Deacs an NCAA tourney bid, despite a top 20 ranking.

1961 Wake basketball wins first ACC tournament title (March 4)

Remembering how Wake Forest's first two ACC championship teams ...

Deacs win their first ACC tournament title with a dominant victory over Duke en route to school’s first Elite 8 trip in 22 years.

1962 Wake basketball makes only Final Four appearance and wins third place game (March 24)

Wake Forest Legend Len Chappell Passes Away - Wake Forest ...

Len Chappell and Billy Packer take the Deacs to their only final four appearance in Louisville’s Freedom Hall.  Deacs lose to the Buckeyes of Ohio State by 16 in national semi (pictured above) but then nip John Wooden’s UCLA squad in the 3rd place contest.

1963 Wake men’s golf wins 4th ACC title

This was the golf team’s only conference championship between 1957 and 1967 which is kinda remarkable considering they won ten straight starting in ’67.

1964 Wake basketball upsets # 4 Duke 72-71 (February 18)

The Deacs handed the Blue Devils their only ACC loss in the ’63-’64 season.

1965 Wake football beats North Carolina 12-10 (October 23)

Not a great year for Wake basketball or football in ’65 as both teams have losing records, but this victory is historically significant because it started Wake’s last four game win streak in this series.

1966 Wake basketball stuns # 2 Duke in overtime 99-98 (February 22)

Incredibly the Deacs, who finished a mere 8-18 this season, beat a loaded Duke squad that made it to the Final Four later that season and featured three future NBA players.

1967 Wake men’s golf wins 4th ACC title

The first in a record ten straight conference championships for the men’s golf program.

1968 Wake men’s golf wins 5th ACC title

The second in a record ten straight conference championships for the men’s golf program.

1969 Wake men’s golf wins 6th ACC title

The third in a record ten straight conference championships for the men’s golf program.

1970 Wake Forest football wins first ACC Champinship in program history (November 14)

Wake Forest Football on Twitter: "𝟱𝟬𝘁𝗵 𝗔𝗻𝗻𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗮𝗿𝘆 ...

The Deacs drop their first three games of the season but then bounce back to go 5-1 in conference play en route to an outright ACC title.  Unfortunately, the Deacs fail to get a bowl invite with just a 6-5 overall record.

1971 Wake Forest football wins at Virginia Tech for the first time 20-9 (September 18)

The Deacs get their first win in Blacksburg en route to a second consecutive winning season. Wake has only won in Blacksburg three times since then and Deacon football didn’t have back to back winning seasons again until 2006-07.

1972 Wake football beats Duke for third consecutive season 9-7 in Durham (November 11)

The Deacs complete their last 3 game win streak over Duke until 2002.

1973 Wake men’s basketball shocks # 8 North Carolina in ACC Tourney Quarterfinals 54-52 in overtime. (March 8)

The Deacs finished dead last in the ACC with just a 3-9 record in conference but stunned the second seeded Tar Heel team that featured three future NBA players including the legendary Mitch Kupchak and George Karl. The game was won with a Phil Perry layup at the buzzer.

1974 Wake Forest men’s golf wins first national title in program history

Curtis Strange leads the Deacs to two stroke victory over Florida to claim the program’s first of three national titles.

1975 Wake Forest men’s golf wins back-to-back national titles

Deacon golf successfully defends national title with dominant victory over the rest of the field. Jay Haas leads the way as individual champion of the tournament.

1976 Wake men’s basketball wins Big 4 Tournament with two wins over top 10 teams (January 2-3)

Deacons beat # 3 North Carolina on Friday night and then # 9 NC State on Saturday night to capture their second consecutive Big 4 title.

1977 Wake baseball wins first ACC tournament championship in school history (April 24)

Deacs win first-ever conference tourney in baseball thanks to a dominant 22-9 win over tourney host Clemson in the final.

1978 Wake men’s basketball makes Cinderella run to ACC Tournament Finals (March 1-4)

JUCO transfer Leroy McDonald leads Wake to back-to-back upsets over 4th seeded Virginia and then Phil Ford’s 1st seeded Tar Heels.

1979 Wake football beats two top 15 teams on the road (September 15, October 13)

In Wake’s best football season in 30 years, the Deacs knocked off # 12 Georgia in Athens 22-21 and then beat # 14 ranked UNC 24-19 in Chapel Hill. Wake wouldn’t beat another top 15 team on the road until their 2018 win over NC State.

1980 Wake men’s basketball wins last Big 4 tournament with 82-71 win upset over # 10 UNC (December 6)

1980 Big Four Tournament Final - UNC Tar Heels vs. Wake Forest ...

The Deacs announced their return to the college basketball elite, after back-to-back rebuilding seasons, with this upset over the Heels. This win also gave Wake the honor of winning the most Big 4 titles in the 11 year history of the tournament.

1981 Wake men’s basketball blows out # 10 UNC 84-68 in Carmichael Auditorium (February 11)

Believe it or not, Wake Forest got more wins in Carmichael Auditorium than any other school UNC played there, including this massacre where the Deacs led by 30 at one point.

1982 Wake men’s basketball beats a # 1 ranked team for the first time with 55-48 victory over UNC (January 21)

The unranked Deacs shocked the world by going into Carmichael and handing perhaps the the greatest Heels team of all-time their first of only two losses for their entire national title season.

1983 Wake football gets most recent win in Blacksburg with 13-6 victory over Virginia Tech (September 10)

The Deacs didn’t have a particularly good football season in ’84, only going 3-8 in Al Groh’s third season, but this win was retrospectively monumental as Wake has not won a game in Blacksburg since.

1984 Wake men’s basketball knocks off # 1 seeded DePaul 73-71 in overtime in the NCAA Sweet 16 (March 23)

Carl Tacy, Former Deacon Basketball Coach, Dies At 87 | 88.5 WFDD

The Deacs sent DePaul coach Ray Meyer into retirement with this legendary upset. Delaney Ruud had to hit a 25 footer at the buzzer in regulation to even get the Deacs to overtime!

1985 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 2 Duke 76-70 in overtime on the road (January 30)

The Deacs, who struggled to a 5-9 ACC record in ’85, stun Coach K’s first elite Duke team led by Jay Bilas and Johnny Dawkins in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

1986 Wake Forest men’s golf wins last national title in program history

Jesse Haddock

Wake holds off the Cowboys of Oklahoma State by four strokes to win national championship in Winston-Salem at the Bermuda Run Country Club.

1987 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 13 Clemson in first round of the ACC tournament 69-62 (March 6)

Despite only going 2-12 in ACC regular season play, with both wins coming over winless Maryland, the Deacs stun the 2 seeded Tigers of Clemson led by future NBA stars Horace Grant and Elden Campbell.

1988 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 3 North Carolina 83-30 (January 28)

Undersized Cal Boyd leads the Deacs, who finished the year dead last in the ACC at 3-11, to an epic upset over the third ranked Heels.

1989 Wake Forest men’s soccer wins first ACC tournament title

Greg Krauss leads Deacs to their first-ever ACC soccer title with a penalty kick victory in tournament final.  The program wouldn’t win another one of these until 2016.

1990 Wake men’s cross country wins their 2nd ACC championship

This program, which has recently been one of Wake’s worst on the men’s side, actually won four of six conference titles from 1989-94.

1991 Wake men’s basketball wins first NCAA tournament game in 7 years with 71-65 win over LA Tech (March 15)

This win announced the return of Wake Forest basketball and the beginning of the Deacons 1990 run of success under coach Dave Odom.

1992 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 1 Duke 72-68 (February 23)

The Deacs knocked off perhaps the greatest UNC team ever in ’82 and then proceeded to beat the greatest Duke team ever 10 years later.  This was the last of Duke’s only two losses the entire season.

1993 Wake men’s basketball beats # 4 seeded Iowa to 84-78 go to first Sweet 16 in 9 years (March 21)

03/21/1993 SE Regional 2nd Round: #5 Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs ...

The Deacs overcame a one point halftime deficit to knock off a strong Hawkeyes squad and qualify for their first Sweet 16 since 1984.

1994 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 2 Duke 69-68 in Cameron (February 13)

This one point thriller was Wake’s second victory in their incredible nine game win streak over Duke that included 5 straight wins in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

1995 Wake men’s basketball wins ACC regular season and tournament titles (March 12)

Wake Forest to Celebrate 1995 ACC Championship Team on Feb. 19 ...

The Deacs parlayed a great regular season into the famous Randolph Childress tourney run where the point guard scored a record 107 points in the ACC tournament.

1996 Wake men’s basketball wins back-to-back ACC tourney titles (March 10)

Wake Forest can't find traction at ACC Tournament | Wfu ...

Tim Duncan leads the Deacs to a second consecutive ACC tourney crown with a one point win over Georgia Tech in nearby Greensboro Coliseum.

1997 Wake men’s basketball beats # 10 Duke 81-69 for their last victory in Cameron Indoor (January 11)

Wake Forest seeks first victory at Duke since Duncan | College ...

This was the final game in Wake’s incredible 9 game win streak over the mid-90 Duke Blue Devils that gave Tim Duncan a perfect 4-0 record in Cameron. Wake has not won there since.

1998 Wake baseball wins Cinderella ACC tournament championship (May 17)

Cinderella Deacs pull off shocking tourney run despite only going 7-12 in regular season play.

1999 Wake baseball wins second consecutive ACC tournament title (May 22)

The 10th ranked Deacs win another conference title by going 5-0 in tourney play.

2000 Wake basketball wins NIT with finals victory over Notre Dame 71-61 (March 30)

NIT Turns Into Irish Wake - CBS News

It is not the national championship we wanted, but it was still an impressive tourney run that includes wins over teams from the Big East, ACC, SEC, and Pac-10.

2001 Wake baseball wins fourth ACC tournament championship (May 20)

The third seeded Deacs blast the Wolfpack 17-4 in the tourney final to win their most recent conference baseball championship.

2002 Wake field hockey wins the first of three consecutive national titles (November 24)

Deacs win their first national championship in program history and their first national title for any team sport in 16 years with a 2-0 win over Penn State.

2003 Wake men’s basketball wins ACC regular season championship

Josh Howard leads the Deacs to a dominant 13-3 confernce record for the school’s last regular season conference championship. This was Skip Prosser’s breakthrough season as head coach.

2004 Wake men’s basketball beats VCU and Manhattan to make NCAA Sweet 16 (March 18-20)

The wins were pretty sloppy to be honest with you but this was nevertheless Chris Paul’s greatest postseason accomplishment at Wake and was the Deacs last Sweet 16 appearance.

2005 # 4 Wake men’s basketball beats # 3 North Carolina 95-82 (January 15)

Chris Paul drives past Raymond Felton and Jawad Williams during the first half.

This was the biggest regular season game in the history of the Joel, as a rabid fanbase cheered the Deacs on to a huge victory over that season’s national champion thanks to an incredible 32/32 performance from the free throw line.

2006 Wake Forest football wins ACC championship (December 2)

Wake Forest Football Looking to Shock the ACC Again, 10 Years ...

The Deacs finish off one of the great Cinderella runs in college football history with a 9-6 victory over Georgia Tech in Jacksonville. The most astonishing fact about this squad is that they had a 7-1 straight up record as an underdog during the ’06 regular season.

2007 Wake men’s soccer wins only national championship in program history (December 16)

Wake Forest Gets Title Satisfaction While Ohio State Can't Find ...

I personally attended this come from behind championship victory over Ohio State in Cary that earned the program its only national title.

2008 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 2 Duke 86-73 (February 17)

Wake Forest James Johnson shoots over Duke's Greg Paulus in first half (AP Photo)

Jeff Teague and James Johnson (pictured above) combine for 50 points to lead the Deacs to the huge upset, which served as the only basketball court storming during my four years as a student at the school.

2009 Wake women’s golf team wins their fourth ACC Championship (April 18)

Natalie Sheary claimed Wake's first ACC medalist honors since Marta Prieto in 1998.

The # 8 ranked Deacs dominated the rest of the field by 24 shots at Greensboro’s Sedgefield Country Club for the program’s first conference crown since 1995.

2010 Wake men’s basketball beats Texas 81-80 in NCAA tourney first round (March 18)

Wake Forest tops Texas 81-80 in OT on Smith's shot | KUsports.com ...

One of the greatest 8/9 games ever as the Deacs rally from 8 point deficit in overtime to pull off thrilling win with Ish Smith buzzer beater. This was Wake’s last victory in an NCAA tourney game.

2011 Wake football beats # 22 Florida State 35-30 (October 8)

Terence Davis (AP Photo)

Deacs knock off a ranked team at BB & T Field for the first time since beating Florida State in 2007 thanks to Tanner Price’s three touchdown passes.  Wake wouldn’t knock off the Noles again until the fall of 2019.

2012 Wake men’s soccer beats # 1 Maryland (November 1)

Luca Gimenez scored the game-winning goal in the 68th minute

2012 was probably the worst year in the history of Wake Forest sports. The Deacs were atrocious in basketball, bad in football, and mediocre in baseball. The soccer program wasn’t particularly good but they did pick up a win against a # 1 ranked team.

2013 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 2 Miami 80-65 (February 23)

C.J. Harris led all players with 23 points, including 15 in the first half.

This was the marquee win of the miserable Bzdelik era at Wake Forest.  C.J. Harris (pictured above) led the way in this one with 23 points on 5/5 three point shooting.

2014 Wake football beats Virginia Tech 6-3 in double overtime (November 22)

2 reasons that 0-0 VT-Wake game was even more amazing than we ...

Both teams were pretty much garbage but this game is infamous for being the most recent scoreless tie in regulation in all of college football (in fact it is on Wikipedia’s list of historically significant college football games for this reason) and because of Frank Beamer’s viral 0-0 celebration meme (pictured above).

2015 Wake basketball beats # 13 Indiana 82-78 in Maui Invitational Quarterfinal (November 23)

Wake Forest upsets No. 13 Indiana, 82-78 | Sports | hoosiertimes.com

This victory seemed to announce the return to Wake basketball prominence under Coach Danny Manning as the Deacs knocked off a perennial basketball powerhouse thanks to a sensational 21 point performance by Devin Thomas (pictured above).  Sadly, it was one of the few marquee victories of the Manning era.

2016 Wake football beats # 24 ranked Temple 34-26 in the Military Bowl (December 27)

Wake Forest Defeats Temple 34-26 in Military Bowl - Blogger So Dear

The first of three consecutive bowl upsets under coach Dave Clawson, as the Deacs knocked off the AAC champions despite being outgained by the Owls.

2017 Wake football beats Texas A & M 55-52 in Belk Bowl (December 29)

Wake Forest Football on Twitter: "🏆 2017 Belk Bowl Champions ...

The Deacs win an epic bowl shootout against a perennial SEC power by virtue of John Wolford’s four touchdown passes.  This is largely considered Wake’s best bowl victory in school history.

2018 Wake men’s tennis wins only national championship in program history (May 22)

Wake Forest wins men's tennis national title on home court | NCAA.com

Another Wake milestone that I attended as the Deacs claimed the program’s first national title on home soil with finals victory Ohio State.  Ironically, the same school they beat for their prior national championship (2008 men’s soccer).

2019 Wake football beats Utah State 38-35 in season opening thriller (August 30)

Utah State drops 38-35 decision to Wake Forest in season opener ...

Typically, a win over an unranked Group of Five school is nothing to celebrate, but this season opening epic was one of the best games of the entire college football season last fall.  Kendall Hinton’s game winning grab is pictured above.

2020 Wake basketball beats # 7 Duke 113-101 in double overtime (February 25)

Wake Forest fans storm the court after upsetting No. 7 Duke ...

This victory served as a triumphant swan song for both Danny Manning and Brandon Childress at Wake.  Neither man lived up to their lofty expectations at the school, but both had their one shining moment in this victory over a top 10 Duke squad, the program’s first win over the Devils in six years.

 


I have also conducted some additional analysis to see which sports represented the most moments of the year for Wake Forest.   The chart below displays those full results but you will see that there was a dead heat between football and basketball with football narrowly winning out 40-38.  While Wake Forest is primarily known as a basketball school, the football team ended up winning out by having more big victories in the 1920’s and 30’s.  Every Wake sport is featured on this list except: volleyball, track and field, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, and women’s tennis.  Women’s soccer is the biggest snub as they have had a great deal of success in recent years; however, they only have earned one conference title in 2010 which was overshadowed by Wake basketball’s last NCAA tournament win occurring earlier that year.  The rest of the sports absent from this list have failed to produce a conference championship.

Sporting Events By Year
Football 40
Men’s Basketball 38
Men’s Golf 9
Baseball 6
Men’s Soccer 3
Men’s Tennis 1
Field Hockey 1
Women’s Golf 1
Cross Country 1

 

Finally, here is the full list of the best games/accomplishments by year without the illustrations or descriptions above.  I thought some of you may want to look at this to more easily be able to compare different seasons over time.

1921 Wake football beats Davidson 10-7 to get first win of season (October 15)
1922 Wake football beats Elon 3-0 to start season 2-1 (October 7)
1923 Wake football beats Trinity (Duke) 16-6 (November 10)
1924 Wake football beats North Carolina 7-6 in season opener (September 27)
1925 Wake football beats North Carolina 6-0 in Chapel Hill (September 26)
1926 Wake football beats Duke 21-0 in Goldsboro (October 30)
1927 Wake basketball finishes with a 22-3 season
1928 Wake football beats Miami in season finale (December 25)
1929 Wake football beats Mercer in season finale 13-0 (November 28)
1930 Wake football beats NC State 7-0 in Raleigh (October 16)
1931 Wake football beats NC State 6-0 (October 16)
1932 Wake football beats South Carolina 6-0 in Charlotte (October 8)
1933 Wake football ties NC State 0-0 (October 21)
1934 Wake football beats NC State 13-12 (October 6)
1935 Wake football beats George Washington 7-6 (October 26)
1936 Wake football beats Clemson 6-0 (October 16)
1937 Wake basketball has its first winning season in ten years in first year as member of the SoCon
1938 Wake football beats South Carolina in Columbia (October 8)
1939 Wake Forest basketball wins first regular season conference title as member of the SoCon
1940 Wake football beats North Carolina 12-0 in Chapel Hill (September 28)
1941 Wake football beats North Carolina 13-0 (October 25)
1942 Wake football beats Duke 20-7 (October 3)
1943 Wake football destroys NC State 54-6 (October 16)
1944 Wake football beats Georgia 14-7 in Athens (September 29)
1945 Wake football upsets # 16 Clemson 13-6 (December 1)
1946 Wake football beats South Carolina 26-14 in the Gator Bowl (January 1)
1947 Wake football upsets # 19 North Carolina in Chapel Hill 19-7 in Chapel Hill (October 11)
1948 Wake football beats Duke 27-20 in Durham (November 6)
1949 Wake Forest baseball wins Southern Conference Championship
1950 Wake football beats South Carolina 14-7 in Peahead Walker’s last game (November 25)
1951 Wake football beats Duke 19-13 for fourth straight win in Durham (November 10)
1952 Wake basketball blows out # 6 Holy Cross 91-69 (December 31)
1953 Wake basketball wins first-ever conference tourney as member of the SoCon (March 7)
1954 Wake basketball knocks off # 9 ranked Duke 96-89 (January 12)
1955 Wake baseball wins College World Series (June 16)
1956 Wake basketball upsets # 8 Duke in Cameron 80-77 (February 11)
1957 Wake men’s golf wins 2nd ACC title
1958 Wake men’s golf wins 3rd ACC title
1959 Wake football beats Florida State on the road 22-20 (September 20)
1960 Wake basketball wins first ACC regular season title
1961 Wake basketball wins first ACC tournament (March 4)
1962 Wake basketball makes only Final Four appearance and wins third place game (March 24)
1963 Wake men’s golf wins 4th ACC title
1964 Wake basketball upsets # 4 Duke 72-71 (February 18)
1965 Wake football beats North Carolina 12-10 (October 23)
1966 Wake basketball stuns # 2 Duke in overtime 99-98 (February 22)
1967 Wake men’s golf wins 4th ACC title
1968 Wake men’s golf wins 5th ACC title
1969 Wake men’s golf wins 6th ACC title
1970 Wake Forest football wins first ACC Championship in program history (November 14)
1971 Wake Forest football wins at Virginia Tech for the first time 20-9 (September 18)
1972 Wake football beats Duke for third consecutive season 9-7 in Durham (November 11)
1973 Wake men’s basketball shocks # 8 North Carolina in ACC Tourney Quarterfinals 54-52 in overtime. (March 8)
1974 Wake Forest men’s golf wins first national title in program history
1975 Wake Forest men’s golf wins back-to-back national titles
1976 Wake men’s basketball wins Big 4 Tournament with two wins over top 10 teams (January 2-3)
1977 Wake baseball wins first ACC tournament championship (April 24)
1978 Wake men’s basketball makes Cinderella run to ACC Tournament Finals (March 1-4)
1979 Wake football beats two top 15 teams on the road (September 15, October 13)
1980 Wake men’s basketball wins last Big 4 tournament with 82-71 win upset over # 10 UNC (December 6)
1981 Wake men’s basketball blows out # 10 UNC 84-68 in Carmichael Auditorium (February 11)
1982 Wake men’s basketball beats a # 1 ranked team for the first time with 55-48 victory over UNC (January 21)
1983 Wake football gets most recent win in Blacksburg with 13-6 victory over Virginia Tech (September 10)
1984 Wake men’s basketball knocks off # 1 seeded DePaul 73-71 in overtime in the NCAA Sweet 16 (March 23)
1985 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 2 Duke 76-70 in overtime on the road (January 30)
1986 Wake Forest men’s golf wins last national title in program history
1987 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 13 Clemson in first round of the ACC tournament 69-62 (March 6)
1988 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 3 North Carolina 83-30 (January 28)
1989 Wake Forest men’s soccer wins first ACC tournament title
1990 Wake men’s cross country wins their 2nd ACC championship
1991 Wake men’s basketball wins first NCAA tournament game in 7 years with 71-65 win over LA Tech (March 15)
1992 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 1 Duke 72-68 (February 23)
1993 Wake men’s basketball beats # 4 seeded Iowa to 84-78 go to first Sweet 16 in 9 years (March 21)
1994 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 2 Duke 69-68 in Cameron (February 13)
1995 Wake men’s basketball wins ACC regular season and tournament titles (March 12)
1996 Wake men’s basketball wins back-to-back ACC tourney titles (March 10)
1997 Wake men’s basketball beats # 10 Duke 81-69 for their last victory in Cameron Indoor (January 11)
1998 Wake baseball wins cinderella ACC tournament championship (May 17)
1999 Wake baseball wins second consecutive ACC tournament title (May 22)
2000 Wake basketball wins NIT with finals victory over Notre Dame 71-61 (March 30)
2001 Wake baseball wins fourth ACC tournament championship (May 20)
2002 Wake field hockey wins the first of three consecutive national titles (November 24)
2003 Wake men’s basketball wins ACC regular season championship
2004 Wake men’s basketball beats VCU and Manhattan to make NCAA Sweet 16 (March 18-20)
2005 # 4 Wake men’s basketball beats # 3 North Carolina 95-82 (January 15)
2006 Wake Forest football wins ACC championship (December 2)
2007 Wake men’s soccer wins only national championship in program history (December 16)
2008 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 2 Duke 86-73 (February 17)
2009 Wake women’s golf team wins their fourth ACC Championship (April 18)
2010 Wake men’s basketball beats Texas 81-80 in NCAA tourney first round (March 18)
2011 Wake football beats # 22 Florida State 35-30 (October 8)
2012 Wake men’s soccer beats # 1 Maryland (November 1)
2013 Wake men’s basketball upsets # 2 Miami 80-65 (February 23)
2014 Wake football beats Virginia Tech 6-3 in double overtime (November 22)
2015 Wake basketball beats # 13 Indiana 82-78 in Maui Invitational Quarterfinal (November 23)
2016 Wake football beats # 24 ranked Temple 34-26 in Military Bowl (December 27)
2017 Wake football beats Texas A & M in Belk Bowl (December 29)
2018 Wake men’s tennis wins only national championship in program history (May 22)
2019 Wake football beats Utah State 38-58 in season opening thriller (August 30)
2020 Wake basketball beats # 7 Duke 113-101 in double overtime (February 25)

Thanks for reading this full analysis. Again, if any diehard Wake fans want to reach out to me and challenge any of these selections please comment on this blog or email me at bmatthews85@gmail.com.  My next quarantine sports history list will be my ranking of every NCAA tournament from best to worst.  Be on the lookout for that in a couple of weeks.

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