'No Secret' Basketball Needs To Get Better, New WFU Athletic Director Says
Wake Forest is the defending national champion in men’s tennis, has the number one ranked women’s amateur golfer in the world in Jennifer Kupcho, and the football team has won three straight bowl games.
But new athletic director John Currie says there’s still room for improvement.
“Both men’s and women’s basketball need to go up from here. That’s no secret,” he says. “It’s our job to make sure that the infrastructure of support exists to help those programs go up.”
The men’s team finished near the bottom of the conference last season, and the women’s team has made only one trip to the NCAA tournament.
Currie met with members of the media Monday for a roundtable on Deacon sports just days after taking over the program.
Wake Forest has been caught up in a nationwide college bribery scandal amid allegations that a student was granted admission after she was fraudulently labeled as a volleyball recruit.
Indicted volleyball coach Bill Ferguson has been suspended.
Currie declined to answer if the university audits or plans to audit athletic scholarships to ensure that students admitted as athletes actually joined the team.
He deferred specific questions about the federal “Operation Varsity Blues” investigation to university attorneys.
“I think this university has always taken its responsibilities very seriously,” he says. “Anytime you have a blip, or an apparent blip, or an alleged blip or whatever, you probably redouble your self-scrutiny, if you will, so I have full confidence that’s happening on our campus.”
Currie is a Wake alum who entered as a freshman in 1989, back when there were only eight teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference. There are now almost double that number. And he says that makes the league even more competitive.
Currie says one of the things he’s most excited about is that in the fall the Deacons are hosting home football games against all three of the other Big Four Teams - Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State. That hasn’t happened since long before Wake Forest moved to Winston-Salem in the 1950s.
Currie took over the position this month upon the retirement of Ron Wellman, who had held the post since 1992.