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Wake Forest Demon Deacons
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are the various sports teams of Wake Forest University. Originally, Wake Forest's athletic teams were known as the Fighting Baptists, due to its association with the Baptist Convention (from which it later separated itself). However, in 1923, after a particularly impressive win against the Duke Blue Devils, a newspaper reporter wrote that the Deacons "fought like Demons", giving rise to the current team name, the "Demon Deacons".
Wake Forest has won a total of eight national championships in four different sports; four of these championships have come since 2002. Wake Forest is sometimes referred to as being a part of "Tobacco Road" or "The Big Four", terms that refer to the four North Carolina schools that compete heatedly against each other within the ACC; these include Duke University, North Carolina, and North Carolina State, as well as Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons participate in the NCAA's Division I (in the Bowl Subdivision for football) and in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Athletics Director is Ron Wellman, who won multiple Athletic Director of the Year Awards for his work during the 2007-2008 school year.
Wake Forest is generally regarded as a competitive program in men's basketball, frequently qualifying for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship (20 times in the school's history). The men's basketball team has made 16 straight postseason appearances (through their NIT appearance in 2006), the longest such streak in the ACC. They reached the Final Four once, in 1962. The school's famous basketball alumni include Billy Packer, a guard on the 1962 Final Four team who became far more famous as a basketball broadcaster; "Muggsy" Bogues, the shortest player ever to play in the NBA; Randolph Childress, for his MVP performance in the 1995 ACC Tournament; Dallas Mavericks star Josh Howard; 2006 NBA Rookie of the Year Award winner and Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul; and two-time league MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP and five-time NBA Champion, San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan. Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum is the home venue for the Demon Deacons basketball team. Skip Prosser, Wake Forest University's men's basketball coach since 2001, died in Winston-Salem on July 26, 2007. One of Prosser's assistant coaches, Dino Gaudio, was named to replace him.