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The colors “Old Gold and Black” have long been associated with Wake Forest, and early nicknames were the “Baptists” and at one point the “tigers.” But the name “Demon Deacon” is most strongly associated with Wake Forest and dates to 1923 when newspaper editor Mayon Parker (’24) said that the team played like “Demon Deacons.”
The roots of the mascot Demon Deacon can be traced to 1932, when band director Nevill Isbel asked Allie Hayes (’35) to dress up in a split-tail coat and top hat and serve as drum major for the band. Several of the religion professors had wanted Wake Forest to be associated with its Baptist heritage and decided on the garb of an old Baptist preacher.
The first “Demon Deacon” mascot was Jack Baldwin (’43) who, at the urging of fraternity brothers, donned top hat, tails, and a black umbrella symbolizing a deacon and led the football team onto the field riding the North Carolina ram.
Alumni and students alike embraced the mascot and have watched the evolution of the beloved symbol of Wake Forest over the years.