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Wake Forest Magazine
Wake Forest football helmets

The Deacons raised their helmets in victory often in 2006. There's reason to be confident they'll be hoisting them this year and in years to come.

Built to Last

Winning an ACC football championship game is one thing. Contending year in and year out is another.

It's the morning after for Wake Forest's football fans. Now that they've come down from their delirium over the Deacons' intoxicating run to an ACC title and Orange Bowl appearance, they raise a sobering question: Was last season a harbinger or a fluke?

They can be excused for any residual cynicism they might harbor. In the past, the gridiron Deacons have had winning seasons, but those have been reefs in a sea of futility. No loyal wearer of the old gold and black needs reminding of the grisly won-lost statistics that place Wake Forest near the bottom of college football programs historically. The few bowl seasons there have been seemed to have resulted more from a confluence of fortuitous factors—few injuries; a senior-dominated roster; breaks at crucial times—than from true competitive dominance. And although last year witnessed its share of debilitating injuries with the loss of a starting quarterback and tailback, it also contained an ample portion of good fortune in the various narrow victories the team eked out.

Yet, this time, there is the palpable sense that things are different—that Wake Forest finally has a football program that's built to last. From the stability and longevity of its coaching staff, to its recruiting and redshirting strategies, to its perennial upgrading of facilities, to its old-school emphasis on fundamentals, the ground game, and stellar defense and special teams play, Wake Forest has a plan in place to sustain its drive. For its fans, the morning after has dawned a bright and happy day.

Part 2: Jim Grobe »

A special feature of Wake Forest Magazine.

Story by David Fyten
Photos by Ken Bennett


Go to part:

1. Built to Last
2. Jim Grobe
3. Coaching-staff stability
4. Recruiting
5. Redshirting
6. Facilities


Football is more than just a game—it's an event. It's extremely important to have a championship-contending team to set the tone of positivity you want to carry through the year. — Ron Wellman, director of athletics

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