Wake Forest vs. Notre Dame
2012 will mark Ray McCartney's 12th season at Wake Forest and his 18th year alongside head coach Jim Grobe. He serves as the staff's recruiting coordinator and also coaches the defensive line.
McCartney is well-known nationally for his tireless dedication to recruiting and he has spearheaded the staff's recruiting efforts since his arrival at Wake Forest with Grobe in 2001.
Grobe has tasked McCartney with finding the unique high-character student-athletes that have high self-esteem, strong motivation, a great desire to earn a college degree and a passion for the game of football that will "fit" at Wake Forest University and with its football program.
"Coach Mac," as he is affectionately called throughout the college football world, also understands that the type of student-athletes that Grobe wants in his program are the unselfish, team-oriented individuals who love to work every day to be the best students and football players that they can be.
Grobe has impressed upon McCartney that he wants "five-star people" in his program who possess the character that is necessary for a football player to be successful at Wake Forest. With that in mind, McCartney has recruited many Wake Forest "fit" players like cornerback Alphonso Smith from Pahokee, Fla., who became a First Team All-American and broke the ACC all-time interception record. Smith went on to be a second-round draft choice of the Denver Broncos and is currently playing for the Detroit Lions.
McCartney also recruited linebacker Stanley Arnoux from Glades Day High School in Belle Glade, Fla. who went on to be a four-year starter and a fourth-round draft choice of New Orleans, where he was a member of the 2009 Saints team that won the Super Bowl. Arnoux also shocked the nation by running a 4.52 40-yard dash at the 2009 NFL Combine - the fastest time by a linebacker that year. His teammate Aaron Curry ran the second-fastest time by a linebacker(4.53) at the same combine.
Yet another great player that McCartney convinced to come play for the Demon Deacons was 2012 graduate Joe Looney. Looney was the captain of the Wake Forest team this past fall and was a four-year starter on the offensive line who earned All-ACC honors during his senior season in 2011. He was recently drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
Other notable players that McCartney has recruited for Wake Forest include former All-ACC selection and NFL signee D.J. Boldin, who led the ACC in receptions in 2008, 2011 starting tailback Brandon Pendergrass, who signed a free agent contract with the Baltimore Ravens, and freshman All-America Merrill Noel, who led the nation in pass breakups last season and was named the 2011 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Defensive end Jyles Tucker, who was an All-ACC selection at Wake Forest, and is a member of the Carolina Panthers after coming from the San Diego Chargers, with whom he had recently inked a $14 million deal.
Other players that McCartney has coached that went on to be signed by NFL teams are All-ACC selection Montique Sharp (Chiefs), All-ACC selection Nate Bolling (Ravens), Roderick Stephen (Rams), Jerome Nichols (Redskins), Jeremy Thompson (Packers), All-ACC selection John Russell (Packers) and All-ACC selection Boo Robinson (Eagles).
In retrospect, Wake Forest's 2004 recruiting class was arguably the greatest in school history. Of the 18 student-athletes that signed that year, 13 of them went on to start for the Demon Deacons, eight of them signed NFL contracts, and five of those eight were picked in the first four rounds of the NFL draft.
During McCartney's tenure at Wake Forest, the Deacons have gone two five bowl games - the 2002 Seattle Bowl, the 2007 Orange Bowl, the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl, the 2009 EagleBank Bowl and the 2011 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl - and also won the 2006 ACC Championship.
McCartney's wife Gwen Torres-McCartney is a fine art antique appraiser. Her specialities include the "maker's mark," the 1800s and earlier. She has more than 30 years of experience in business entrepreneurship.
McCartney's stepson Spencer Van Fleet is a golfer and also plays on the defensive line for the Reagan High School football team.