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The Wake Forest Demon Deacons football team represents Wake Forest University in the sport of American football. The Demon Deacons compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Wake Forest plays its home football games at Truist Field at Wake Forest and is coached by Dave Clawson.

Wake Forest struggled in football for much of the second half of the 20th century. The university is the sixth-smallest school in FBS in terms of undergraduate enrollment (behind only Rice, Tulsa and the three FBS United States service academies). It is also the smallest school playing in a Power Five conference. However, since the start of the 21st century, the Deacons have been mostly competitive.

Wake Forest first fielded a football team in 1888. The team was coached by W. C. Dowd and W. C. Riddick.[2] That team played only one game, and went 1–0, a victory against North Carolina in the first-ever collegiate football game played in the state of North Carolina.[2] From 1891 to 1893, under head coach E. Walter Sikes, Wake Forest posted a 6–2–1 record.[3] Harry Rabenhorst coached Wake Forest for two seasons, posting a 3–8 record.[4] Hank Garrity served as head football coach from 1923–1924.[5] He compiled a 19–7–1 record in those two seasons.[6] His .704 winning percentage is the highest in Wake Forest football history.[7] F. S. Miller served as Wake Forest's head football coach for four seasons, posting a record of 18–15–4.[8] His first two seasons were winning seasons, 6–5–1 and 5–3–1, respectively.[8] Jim Weaver, who would become the ACC's first commissioner, coached the Demon Deacons football team for four seasons.[9] His final record is 10–23–1.[10]

Peahead Walker came to the Demon Deacons from Elon[11] and was Wake Forest's head football coach for 14 seasons, compiling a record of 77–51–6.[12] He is tied with Jim Grobe as the winningest head football coach in Demon Deacon football history.[13] Walker led the Deacons to two bowl games, a win over South Carolina in the inaugural Gator Bowl in 1946[14] and a loss to Baylor in the 1949 Dixie Bowl.[15] He resigned after the 1950 season and was inducted into the Wake Forest Athletics Hall of Fame in 1971.[16] Tom Rogers led the Demon Deacons from 1951–1955, succeeding Walker. Rogers yearly records at Wake Forest were 6–4, 5–4–1, 3–6–1, 4–7–1 and 5–4–1.[17] In 1951, the Demon Deacons compiled a 6–4 record and finished in a tie for seventh place in the Southern Conference.[18] End Jack Lewis and linebacker Bill George were selected by the Associated Press as first-team players on the 1951 All-Southern Conference football team.[19] In their second season under Rogers, the Demon Deacons compiled a 5–4–1 record and finished in a tie for second place in the Southern Conference with a 5–1 record against conference opponents.[20] End Jack Lewis was selected by the United Press as a first-team player on the 1952 All-Southern Conference football team.[21] This was followed by a 3–6–1 campaign in 1953 that saw Wake Forest finish in a three-way tie for third place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 2–3 record against conference opponents.[22] In 1954, the Demon Deacons compiled a 3–6–1 record and finished in sixth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 1–4–1 record against conference opponents.[23] End Ed Stowers and tackle Bob Bartholomew were selected by the Associated Press as first-team players on the 1954 All-Atlantic Coast Conference football team. Bartholomew was the only unanimous selection by all 43 voters.[24] In 1955, their fifth season under Rogers, the Demon Deacons compiled a 5–4–1 record and finished in fourth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 3–3–1 record against conference opponents.[25] Tackle Bob Bartholomew was selected by both the Associated Press and the United Press International as a first-team player on the 1955 All-Atlantic Coast Conference football team.[26][27] Rogers was replaced as Wake Forest head coach after five seasons.[28]

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