- Challenge gift launches drive to fund $38 million McCreary Football Complex
- The student-athlete centric addition will feature locker rooms, training rooms and common spaces
- McCreary's total charitable investment in Wake Forest is close to $55 million
In 1957, Bob McCreary came to Wake Forest from his home in rural Caldwell County thanks to a football scholarship he credits with transforming his life. More than six decades later, McCreary continues to invest in new generations of student-athletes while inspiring others to support the continued development of the Wake Forest football program.
“I am constantly thinking about the people and institutions that have helped me,” McCreary said.
“Coming from where I came from to what I have today, I am so incredibly blessed to give back to the University that gave so much to me.” Bob McCreary (‘61)
Already one of the University’s most generous donors and the largest donor in Wake Forest Athletics history, McCreary’s new challenge gift of $20 million will be a major step toward the completion of the McCreary Football Complex. With locker rooms, training rooms and common spaces, the new 60,000 square foot structure will connect to the McCreary Field House and the Sutton Sports Performance Center and foster camaraderie and team chemistry, while firmly establishing Wake Forest’s on-campus football facility infrastructure as one of America’s best.
The new McCreary Football Complex will replace the Mark C. Pruitt Football Center’s Peahead Walker Football Locker Room originally constructed in 1988.
“This is about creating a home for the football players,” said McCreary, who formed lifelong friendships with his Wake Forest teammates. “For these young men to be together and to share thoughts and ideas after a practice or a game is important. That is how you build relationships.”
Wake Forest Athletics has already raised $30 million for this $38 million total project price tag which is intended to include all design, construction, maintenance and operational support. The McCreary Football Complex will be fully funded by donor gifts. No long-term debt will be incurred from this project.
Plans for the facility include:
- Locker space for 130 student-athletes
- Player lounge with a nutrition station, recovery area, and entertainment area
- Football athletic training/treatment space
- Equipment center and loading dock
- Multipurpose space seating up to 200 for team meals, meetings, functions and other activities for all Demon Deacon programs
McCreary’s latest transformational gift brings his total charitable investment in Wake Forest to nearly $55 million. He has been the lead donor for numerous athletics projects, including McCreary Field House, an indoor practice facility completed in 2016, and the video board at Truist Field honoring the class of 1961. He has also provided significant support for student-athlete scholarships and the Sutton Sports Performance Center. Truist Field’s signature McCrearyTower was named in his honor at the Homecoming football game in 2016.
“Bob McCreary is the ultimate champion for Wake Forest Athletics.” Wake Forest Director of Athletics John Currie
“While we are extraordinarily grateful for his financial support, Bob’s leadership role throughout the broader University community continues to inspire generations of Demon Deacons,” Currie said. “In line with our vision of being a model intercollegiate athletics program, Bob himself models the limitless aspirations of our students and University community.”
McCreary credits Wake Forest professors, coaches and athletic trainer “Doc” Martin for much of his success at Wake Forest and beyond. He played professional football before starting a career in the furniture industry. In the 1980s, he and his wife Michele founded McCreary Modern, a top North Carolina-based manufacturer of upholstered furniture.
“Bob McCreary’s personal story, generous spirit and passion for excellence continue to inspire the Wake Forest community.” Wake Forest President Susan R. Wente
McCreary received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016 and he was inducted into the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2008, he received the Gene Hooks Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors former athletes for their integrity, charity and leadership. In 2019, he was honored as an ACC football legend. He also has served on the College Board of Visitors.
He has watched the football program thrive under Coach Dave Clawson’s leadership. When asked how he felt about the Wake Forest football team’s current 7-0 record, McCreary simply said, “Elated.”
“Throughout my eight years at Wake Forest, Bob McCreary’s transformational leadership and generosity has helped build the foundation for our program to compete at the highest level,” Clawson said. “From McCreary Field House, Sutton Sports Performance Center and the Christian McCreary Nutrition Zone, the commitment to provide the best facilities and staff positions to help our student-athletes on and off the field have allowed us the ability to recruit young men that make our University community proud. Overall, Bob’s generous support of our football program has been unparalleled.”
Wake Forest will honor McCreary at the Oct. 30 Homecoming football game.
Demon Deacon defensive lineman and team captain Miles Fox said he is grateful for McCreary’s generosity. “I would like to personally thank Bob McCreary and so many other generous donors for their commitment to help my fellow student-athletes and me achieve all our goals on and off the field. Wake Forest is truly a special University where we can compete at the highest level and earn a degree that will help make an impact on our families and communities long after my career in Winston-Salem is complete.”
McCreary’s lead gift will provide a strong foundation for the project. The completion of the 60,000 square-foot complex depends on support from other donors and additional fundraising for the complex is underway.
“I see this as the last piece in the puzzle,” McCreary said.
This project begins the 4th Quarter drive that will complete the Athletics quadrant of Wake Forest’s Reynolda campus.