Local News

Wake Knows There are No Shortcuts to Winning

Posted August 4, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— They play for a school with a passing tradition. Yet quarterback Brian Kuklick has already climbed to third place in the all-time passing statistics and wide receiver Desmond Clark has become the third most prolific pass catcher in Winston-Salem.

Despite the Deacs' passing power, they drop 29 of 32 ACC games in Coach Caldwell's first four years. Last season brought a dramatic turnaround though. Wake matched its ACC win total from '93 to '96 combined.

"Our players on defense really stepped up," Kuklick says. "That made it easy on the offense because it took off a lot of pressure. You knew our defense was going to stop the other team."

"We went from 105th, I think, in the country, to 10th in the country," Coach Jim Caldwell recalls. "But in order for us to be a little better team the following year, this coming year, we've got to do it again."

With the exception of a 37 point loss to Florida State, Wake was in every contest. The goal this year is to win the games.

"We've got a lot of experienced guys," Kuklick says. "So hopefully that will change those games to where we're pulling ahead at the end."

No team in the league returns more starters than Wake. This is the year Deacon fans can measure the progress of Jim Caldwell's no short-cuts approach to winning in Winston-Salem.