Wake Forest fans speak out:Open letter to Wake Forest Athletic Director Ron Wellman

Dear Ron Wellman,

I was going to renew season football tickets and donate to the Deacon club this year but I am so disgusted with the current state of the basketball program that I decided against it.

Jeff Bzdelik has absolutely no ability to win away from the Joel. His conference road record in three years at Wake is 1-25. That’s a 4% winning percentage!! I will say that again, 4%!!! How could we have predicted this? Oh wait, we could have. Before coming to Wake, Jeff Bzdelik won only 1 conference road game in his three years at Colorado. That means he has won exactly 2 conference road games in 6 years. Your justification for firing Dino Gaudio was not enough NCAA tournament wins. Because he can’t win on the road, Bzdelik will never get us over .500. This means we will never make any tournament, much less the NCAA. I simply don’t understand how you can justify this abysmal performance and allow it to continue.

I have decided that I will not spend another penny on Wake Forest Athletics until you do what you know you have to do. Make that change Mr Wellman. If you are too close to Bzdelik to make a change, you should step aside and let someone else make the call. Denial is not just a river in Egypt, Mr Wellman.

I encourage you and all Wake fans to view Mr Bzdelik’s track record at firebz.com. The numbers certainly lead you to only one conclusion.

You know what has to be done.

Brian Stratton


  1. Well said, Brian. I have not set foot inside the Joel since Bzdelik and will continue to stay away until he is gone.

    DeacDaddy says it better than almost anyone:

    This is honestly where the Bzdelik situation gets really personal for me. Like all of us, I love the Deacs, and in particular the way in which this love manifests and augments itself is by sharing this love with my kids. I gave myself the board name DeacDaddy, after all. I want to share this passion with them. I want to make Wake-related memories with them. Does Wellman not realize how serious this is? We are a small alumni base but we really care (many of us, anyway). And we need Demon Deacon basketball to be competitive. It fuels our fire for Wake Forest. How could he treat us like we don’t matter? When you have a small alumni, don’t you need everyone on the bandwagon?

    My kids are in some of their most formative years. I do not want to go through another 5-year desert of missed opportunities to be good. Especially as NC State is in the midst of a renaissance. Before I know it these kids will be grown and gone. “The days are gone but the years are short.” So many Saturdays we will spend watching Wake football and basketball…these kids are DYING to get excited about anything Wake-related. Just give them something. Anything. Give them something to scream and shout and pump their fists about. Give them reasons to throw on all their Wake gear (which they love to do) and pose for pictures, without secretly wondering why Dad’s team is so bad.

    They are dying, desperate, to be Deacs. But they are kids. They are on the cusp. Don’t kill their sweet spirits. This matters to me. This matters to them. This are the little things — small, but truly significant — that life is made of. Mr. Wellman, please don’t let this misery go on any longer.

  2. It is absolutely incredible that anyone would have to be concerned that Wellman would even consider keeping this coach around after his third straight DISMAL season — the worst stretch in school history. Unfortunately, though, Wellman has consistently pointed out “progress.” Fans are extremently frustrated and suspect Wellman is simply too proud and too egotistical to admit his hiring Bzdelik was an incredibly poor decision. I’m at the point where I wish they were BOTH gone. Wake needs a new breath of life, and I’m afraid Wellman would just hire another washed out crony if Bzdelik were gone.

  3. With our record on the road, you have to seriously consider forfeiting road games as a cost savings measure.

  4. What good is a victory over NC State or Miami when we get swept by Georgia Tech and Maryland?

    It’s easy to motivate a team to play #2 Miami or #3 Duke or preseason league favorite NC State. It’s also equally easy for them to look past Wake Forest to see rival North Carolina or a big top 5 rematch looming.

    What about a Tuesday night in Boston a noon game in Clemson?

    We to date are 1-7 against the bottom half of the ACC. If we lose to State and VT to end the season we will have finished last in the ACC all three years of the Bzdelik era.

    It’s time for him to go. If Wellman doesn’t want to let him go, President Hatch needs to help Mr. Wellman pack his bags as well.

    Joey Davis
    class of ’94

  5. I so feel your pain David K.

    I remember going to Wake games as a child with my Dad. They are special memories for me. Some of those games were when Bob Staak was coach. Although the teams were really bad under him, I don’t remember the alumni/supporters/fans being angry like they are with Buzz. Its very different with this situation because Ron hired his friend, who had no previous success, and has not been honest with us about why he was hired and is in total denial about his performance.

  6. Bring Frank home from Missouri. He is one of the best recruiters in the nation and this is home for him. Missouri has a great fan base but Missouri belongs in the same conference as Kansas and Texas not Florida and LSU. Frank would create the excitement that is missing in Winston today, bring in top recruits and get the coaching back to top level ACC standards.

  7. As an avid ACC fan I cheer mostly for UNC, but growing up in Greensboro I have always had the Deacs as my second favorite school in the conference. I had always made at least three games a season, and won year even bought a home court package to watch the Deacs, but the pathetic display of coaching on Wake bench the last three years has saved me a lot of money in tickets and gas.

    As an ACC fan pleading to restore our conference to the #1 conference in the land we need have Wake in the rankings like they were in the years under Skip. BUZZout, and let WF join the other three of the “Little Four” back in the top half of the ACC.

  8. Whew that cant be argued. He must go. On top of that whoever hired him has to go as well. How do you fire Dino with the type of talent that he was bringing in?? Wake Forest is a step up from Mount Tabor lol.

  9. My letter to Ron Wellman sent this morning.Dear Mr. Wellman,

    I am sure you have received hundreds of letters and phone calls about the Wake Forest Basketball program. I doubt you have time to read them all and maybe you will not read mine. In spite of that I am going to give the effort anyway because I feel it is important.

    Coach Bzdelik must be released at the end of this season. There are no new arguments to be made about success or failure, progress or not. We all have opinions about the direction of the program and the truth is none of us really know the future. But this decision is not about Mr. Bzdelik’s ability to coach. It is about Wake Forest as an institution and a family.

    Our small fanbase has become a house divided. Many were loyal to Coach Gaudio. Many are loyal to you. All are loyal to the university. It was a bad situation when Coach Gaudio was released. It has been made worse by the inability of Coach Bzdelik to deliver on the basketball court and to connect with the fanbase off the court.

    Personally, I was indifferent on Coach Gaudio’s release. Overall, I think you have done a fine job, taking Wake Forest to places we dared not dream of over the last 2 decades. But I am disappointed in Coach Bzdelik. He just does not fit Wake Forest. The Wake Forest family has not yet and will not ever accept him.

    As long as he is here, there will be a cancer within the Wake Forest fan base. It is spreading. it started off with just the basketball coach. Now many are attacking the basketball coach and you, as athletic director. Soon the distaste from basketball will spread to football where Coach Grobe’s successes will be forgotten. Soon our little family will be destroyed.

    The solution to this cancer is the same as with cancer in the body, remove it. Simply removing Coach Bzdelik will remove the cloud over our fine institution. A new coach will be given time to rebuild the Wake Forest brand. And in that time we can heal as a family.

    Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter.

    Best regards,

    Joey Davis
    class of 1994

  10. The problem with Wake athletics is real simple. Start recruiting in your own back yard! Look at their Football recruits. They all come from FL,GA and all over the place while all the in state kids end up at UNC, or NC State.

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