Gary Baldinger


From 1983 through 1985, Gary Baldinger was the anchor of the Wake Forest defensive line. The Most Valuable Player on the 1985 team, Baldinger was a first-team All-ACC selection in 1984 and 1985.

Wake Forest went 14-19 during his three-year career, including a 6-5 record in 1984. Baldinger played his entire career under head coach Al Groh. In 1985, Baldinger and teammate Foy White served as team captains.

In addition the all-conference honors, Baldinger received the prestigious Arnold Palmer Award as the university's outstanding male athlete in 1986. In 1984, he won the Bill George Award as Wake Forest's most outstanding lineman and the Beattie Feathers Award as the team's most improved player. He was an honorable mention All-America selection by two sources in 1985.

Baldinger went on to an outstanding career in the national Football League, playing for Kansas City (1986-88), Indianapolis (1989) and Buffalo (1990-92). He helped the Bills to three of their four consecutive AFC championships and Super Bowl appearances.

Football was a tradition in the Baldinger family. The patriarch, James Baldinger, played in the early 1950s at the U.S. Naval Academy. Brother Brian was an offensive guard at Duke and brother Richard was a standout offensive lineman at Wake Forest from 1979-81. The three siblings were in the NFL simultaneously from 1986-92; Rich and Gary were teammates for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1986-88, in fact.


Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues


Muggsy Bogues became one of the great point guards in Wake Forest history during his four seasons from 1983-87. And at 5-foot-3, he became the shortest player in modern Division I basketball history.

Bogues came to Wake Forest in 1983 from a powerful Baltimore Dunbar High team that included national high school player of the year Reggie Williams, who would go on to star at Georgetown. And despite the presence of teammates Reggie Lewis (Northeastern/Boston Celtics) and David Wingate (Georgetown), Bogues was Dunbar's MVP as a senior. He led Dunbar to a 31-0 record and a No. 1 national ranking from USA Today in his senior season. Bogues averaged eight points, eight assists and eight steals per game as a senior.

At Wake Forest, Bogues led the ACC in assists and steals in 1984-85 and 1985-86. A tenacious defender, he guarded Johnny Dawkins of Duke in a 1985 game, holding the All-American to eight points and snapping Dawkins' streak of 51 straight games of scoring in double figures. On offense, Bogues set a record for assists in an ACC game with 17 against North Carolina on Feb. 8, 1986. He finished his career with school records of 781 assists and 275 steals while tallying 986 career points.

In 1984, Bogues played a key role on a Deacon team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, defeating DePaul in the round of 16 before losing to Houston. He earned first-team All-ACC honors as a senior in 1987.

Bogues handed out 200 or more assists in three seasons. Chris Paul has the only other 200-assist season in Wake history.

Bogues was never troubled by his small frame.

"I don't think being short is a problem," Bogues once said. "In fact, I look at it as an advantage I have on those big guys. I'm low to the ground, and when they put the ball on the floor, I'm already there. They have to worry about me."

Bogues was a member of the 1986 USA team that won the World Basketball Championship in Spain.

The No. 12 overall draft pick by the Washington Bullets in the 1987 NBA Draft, he was left unprotected following his rookie season and became an original member of the Charlotte Hornets. He spent nine seasons in Charlotte before finishing his career with short stints with Golden State and Toronto.

He was inducted into Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.


Jack Williams


Jack Williams was a consistent standout performer on Wake Forest basketball teams in the 1950s. After earning second-team All-Southern Conference honors in 1953, Williams spent two years in the military. When he returned, he helped lead the 1956 and 1957 teams to consecutive 19-win seasons.

Williams still ranks in the Top 20 in scoring and rebounding in Deacon history. He played much of his career with a back brace, resulting from a slight spinal deformity.

Williams played on balanced and unselfish Demon Deacon teams that included Lowell "Lefty" Davis, Ernie Wiggins, Jack Murdock and Jim Gilley. In 1957, Williams shared the very first Deacon Award with teammates Murdock and Wiggins. Williams played his entire career for Murray Greason, the winningest coach in Wake Forest history. Horace "Bones" McKinney took over the reigns one year after Williams' departure in 1958.

During his two-year stint in the military, Williams kept his skills sharp by playing for the Eielson Warriors in Alaska. He earned a spot on the Armed Forces All-Star tea, which played in the Pan-American Games in South America.

Born and raised in Johnston City, Ill., Williams was a remarkable overall athlete. In high school he was an all-state fullback in football and captain of the baseball team.

Williams worked as a teacher, coach and administrator until retiring on July 1, 1992. He died on June 26, 2000.

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