Greason served as head basketball coach of the Deacons for 23 years in addition to being one of the University's all-time great athletes. When he stepped down as head coach in 1957, he had collected 288 victories while losing 244 games. He led the Deacons to the Southern Conference regular-season championship in 1939 and the tournament title in 1953, the last time the ACC schools competed in the SoCon. Greason's 205 wins were among the top 10 win totals in Southern Conference history.
In 1939, he took his team to the inaugural NCAA tournament, in which it lost to Ohio State. His 1953 team also took part in the NCAA playoffs. He was chosen Coach of the Year in the Southern Conference in 1953 and repeated the honor in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1955.
Greason grew up in Wake Forest, N.C., two blocks from Gore Gym. His Sunday School basketball team was coached by Doc Crozier, the Wake Forest head coach at the time. After graduating from high school in 1918, Greason spent a year at Randolph-Macon prep school. Undecided on his future, he spent some time working with his father in the local mills and then spent eight months as a coal passer in the Merchant Marines. He returned to Wake Forest in 1921.
As an undergraduate at Wake Forest, Greason played four years of football, basketball and baseball and earned 12 varsity letters, one of the few men in Deacon history to do so. He captained both the football and basketball teams as a senior.
He scored Wake Forest's only touchdown in a 1924 win over North Carolina, tallying on a 72-yard run to give the Deacons a 7-6 win. During the state college baseball championship in 1925, Greason was at bat with the score tied in the bottom of the 12th inning and the bases loaded against North Carolina. After fouling off two pitches, Greason snuck a peek at the signals given by Carolina catcher Casey Morris. Greason saw the signal for an inside pitch, leaned into Bill Poyner's pitch and was hit in the back. That forced in the winning run for the Deacons and gave Wake Forest the state baseball title.
He received his bachelor of law degree in 1926 and that fall began his career as a coach and teacher at Lexington High School. He stayed there until 1933, when he joined Jim Weaver as an assistant coach on the Wake football team. He became the head basketball coach prior to the 1933-34 season.
In addition to coaching basketball, he also was backfield coach in football from 1934-48 and was head baseball coach from 1940-47. He also served as assistant athletic director for the Deacons.
Greason died on Jan. 1, 1960 when his car crashed into a bridge support on U.S. 70 in Greensboro. He was returning home after attending the Dixie Classic Tournament in Raleigh.
Greason was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1967.
Piccolo was a modestly recruited running back from Central Catholic High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He toiled in relative obscurity as a sophomore and junior at Wake Forest (freshmen were not eligible for varsity) on Deacon teams that managed only one victory in 20 contests.
The one win was against South Carolina in 1963 as Piccolo was the standout performer. He rushed for 140 yards and scored the game winning touchdown and kicked the winning extra point in the closing moments for the Deacs to take a 20-19 lead.
Piccolo became a focal point of the offense under new coach Bill Tate in 1964. The 5-foot-11, 198-pounder would carry the ball 252 times for 1,044 yards on the season, an ACC record at the time. His rushing total and 111 points scored (on 17 TDs and nine PATs) led the entire country. Piccolo set six new conference records and nine school records. He was selected ACC Player of the Year and was an All-American.
One particular game stands out against Duke, in which Piccolo set an ACC record by carrying the ball 36 times for 115 and scoring all of Wake Forests' 20 points.
Piccolo signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Bears and became good friends with future NFL Hall of Famer Gale Sayers. Their story was portrayed in the movie "Brian's Song."
Brian Piccolo died of cancer on June 16, 1970 of cancer. His battle continues today at Wake Forest with annual student organized fund drive and events to raise money for cancer research and The Piccolo Fund.
Brian Piccolo was part of the first class of Wake Forest University Sports Hall of Fame members. He was inducted posthumously on October 17, 1970.
Douglas Clyde "Peahead" Walker
Walker was head coach of the Wake Forest football team for 14 years from 1937-50. In that time he compiled a 77-51-6, which still remains one of the best records in WFU history. Walker coached the Deacs in two bowl games. Wake Forest beat South Carolina in the 1946 Gator Bowl, the Deacs' only trip to the Gator Bowl in school history. Wake Forest also competed in the 1949 Dixie Bowl in Birmingham, Ala.
Following his standout career with the Demon Deacons, Walker joined the Yale University as an assistant. Walker then joined the Canadian Football League as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes where he stayed for eight years, winning four division titles. He remained involved in professional football as a scout for the New York Giants.
Walker's coaching career began in 1926 at Atlantic Christian College. He enjoyed a 10-year tenure at Elon College, winning four North State Conference championships prior to joining Wake Forest. Walker also played professional baseball for the Wilson Bugs of the Virginia League.
Walker passed away on July 17, 1970 and was posthumously inducted into the WFU Sports Hall of Fame on October 17, 1970. Walker was one of four persons named to the inaugural Hall of Fame class.
Weaver first started at Wake Forest as the football coach from 1933-36, compiling a four-year record of 10-23-1. In 1937, he was named the Director of Athletics.
During that time, Weaver oversaw and created two essential parts of the Wake Forest athletic department that remain today. Weaver was instrumental in helping Wake Forest create a men's golf team, which has produced numerous All-Americans, professional golfers and gained notoriety as one of the best programs in the country. Weaver also created the Deacon Club, an athletic booster club that started small but has grown substantially and still operates today as a large part of the athletic department.
While serving as golf coach, Weaver was responsible for getting Arnold Palmer to enroll at Wake Forest in 1948.
Weaver was a guiding force in the formation and development of the ACC and subsequent reputation as the nation's top academic athletic conference. The ACC's first full-time commissioner, Weaver took office on July 1, 1954, and served 17 years until his death of a heart attack on July 11, 1970.
During his 17-year tenure, the ACC captured nine national titles, including the league's first men's basketball championship by North Carolina in 1957. In addition, under Weaver's guidance the ACC Tournament became one of the nation's premier collegiate athletic events and the ACC became the first conference in the country to benefit from having a regionally syndicated basketball television contract in 1958.
Weaver was born March 29, 1903 at Rutherford College, N.C. He attended Emory and Henry in 1919 and played football, basketball and baseball. At that time his father, Charles C. Weaver, a Methodist minister, was president of that institution. From Emory and Henry he went to Duke University (then Trinity College) and from there to Centenary College in Shreveport, La., where he played football under the celebrated Alvin (Bo) McMillan from 1922 through 1924. He was named to the All-State eleven in 1923 and 1924 and graduated from Centenary in 1924 with a bachelor's degree in biology.
Weaver coached the Centenary freshmen for one year before being named coach of the Nacogdoches, Texas high school team in 1926-27. He returned to North Carolina in 1928 and for the next five years served as head football and basketball coach at Oak Ridge. He came to Wake Forest in 1933.
Weaver served as the athletics director at Wake Forest from 1937 to 1954, except for three years in the Navy during World War II. He was discharged from the Navy as a lieutenant commander. Jim Weaver passed away on July 11, 1970 and was posthumously inducted into the WFU Sports Hall of Fame on October 17, 1970. He is also a member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
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