Distinguished former Wake Forest golf coach and alumnus Jesse Haddock (‘52) passed away at the age of 91 on Wednesday, March 14.
During his time as a student, he was drafted in World War II and returned to Wake Forest to earn his degree seven years later. Before signing on as head golf coach for an accomplished 30-year career, he served as assistant athletic director for Wake Forest.
His accolades as coach from 1962-93 range from three national championships in 1974, 1975 and 1986 to coaching an impressive spread of golfers who went on to find great success on the PGA tour. Leading the Demon Deacons to 15 ACC Championships during his tenure, Haddock’s legacy stretches farther than the Reynolda Campus in Winston-Salem. His contribution to the sport of golf as one of the best coaches of all time will not be forgotten.
The 1974-75 Demon Deacons Mens’ Golf Team coached by Haddock was recognized as the best college team of all time by PGATOUR.COM in 2014. Many of these players expressed their condolences and tributes to their late coach via Twitter.
Wake Forest graduate and 17-time PGA Tour winner Curtis Strange (’77) tweeted: “[Haddock] made a difference in my life and many others. He gave me my greatest gift, an opportunity to play at Wake. RIP my friend.”
In an interview with Wake Forest Athletic Communications, Wake Forest Athletic Director Ron Wellman remarked that Coach Haddock, “will always be remembered for the relationships he built not only with his players but with all that knew him.”
In October 2016, Wake Forest honored Haddock by naming the newest edition of the Wake Forest golf complex the “Haddock House.” The $4.5 million dollar facility for the Wake Forest golf program is the most recent addition to the Arnold Palmer Golf Complex on the university’s Reynolda campus. Not only is the facility complete with state-of-the-art locker rooms, but it also serves as a center for Wake Forest golf memorabilia and tributes.
At the Haddock House dedication, former player Jay Haas (‘76) stated, “I knew he always had my back and I know he somehow got me to play at my best.”
While the university plans to honor his life and contribution to Wake Forest in a memorial service on March 19 in Wait Chapel, he will always be remembered as an integral part of the Demon Deacons’ golf program legacy for years to come.