Team Name: Demon Deacons
Nickname Established: 1923
Mascot: Demon Deacon
Costumed Mascot: Demon Deacon
Costumed Mascot Debut: 1941
Live Mascot: Nothing official, but it's subject to interpretation depending on your theology.
Live Mascot Debut: Same as above.
Team Colors: Black and Gold
University Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
(Founded in Wake Forest)
What is the definition of Demon Deacon? If you take the term literally, it would be an elder in a demonic church. However, that's not how it's used in this context.
The Wake Forest mascot Demon Deacon is modeled on a Baptist deacon. Though not started as a Baptist school per se, the founding of the university was spearheaded by a group of Baptist ministers and laymen wanting to establish an educational institution with Christian influences.
The term Demon Deacon originated in the student newspaper in an article by Mayon Parker ('24), Wake Forest student newspaper editor. He used the name in reference to the football team's "devilish fighting spirit" after a 1923 win against Trinity (now Duke). Wake Forest's news director, Henry Belk, and the football coach, Hank Garrity, both liked the name. It seemed more inspiring than the other monikers of "Old Gold and Black" or "Baptists." So, that's how a demon came to represent a school with Baptist origins.
What does the Demon Deacon look like? He looks like an old Baptist deacon. The first student to dress as the Demon Deacon, Jack Baldwin ('43), and his fraternity brothers opted to emphasize the deacon part of the name, not the demon. They wanted the Wake Forest mascot to be more distinguished than others so Baldwin got an old tuxedo, top hat and umbrella to make his first appearance in 1941 when he lead the Deacon football team onto the field - riding the North Carolina ram.
Here's a picture of the current Demon Deacon.
More than a mascot!
The Demon Deacon is also a:
*Minister - He officiated the wedding of North Carolina State's mascots, Mr. and Mrs. Wuf on February 28, 1981.
*Biker - He rides a motorcycle at football and basketball games. Are motorcycle skills prerequisite for trying out?
*Family Guy - On parents' weekend Grandma & Grandpa Deacon often show up.
*Entertainer - Peruse this list of former Deacons and their unique antics.
*Could have been a Tiger?! Per this quote from and 1895 student literary magazine, "At last, Wake Forest has a college badge. It is a very neat button designed by Mr.John M. Heck and contains a tiger's head over the letters WFC. The colors are old gold and black."
"Demon Deacon." Wikipedia.
Official Wake Forest University Visitors' Center Site.
"Demon Deacon Spirit." Traditions Page, Official WFU Athletic Site
"The Demon Deacon: A Proud Tradition." Homecoming Football Game Program, October 26, 1974. Official WFU History Department Site.
Official Wake Forest University Site
Official WFU Athletic Site, Mascot Page
Official WFU Athletic Site, Cheerleading Page
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