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Dianne Dailey C’71

Inaugural Honoree

Dianne Dailey served for 30 years as head women’s golf coach at Wake Forest University, retiring after the 2017–18 season. During her three decades of leading the program, the Demon Deacons won 30 team titles, 39 individual titles, four ACC Championships, and qualified for 15 NCAA Championships. She coached 28 All-Americans, 39 All-ACC selections, five ACC Players of the Year, four ACC Freshmen of the Year, and 2018 NCAA Champion Jennifer Kupcho. 

A 1971 graduate of Salem College, Dailey took over the Wake Forest program in the summer of 1988. She led the team to victory in the third event of her first season with the title at the Lady Seminole Invitational. Wake Forest went on to win at least one team title in 18 of her 30 seasons at the helm of the program, highlighted by a school-record five victories during the 1994–95 season.

A four-time ACC Coach of the Year, Dailey led the Demon Deacons to conference championships in 1994, 1995, 2009 and 2010. Her four titles rank second in the history of ACC women’s golf coaches. In 1993, Wake Forest made its first appearance at the NCAA Championships, finishing seventh. It was the first of four top-10 NCAA finishes for the Demon Deacons, highlighted by a third-place finish in 1995. After the NCAA established the current system of regionals to qualify for the NCAA Championships in 1993, Dailey led Wake Forest to a regional berth every year.

In 2001, Dailey was named the LPGA Coach of the Year and also was inducted into the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame. She has served as the president of the National Golf Coaches Association as well as a chairman of the NCAA Golf Committee, heading up the NCAA Championships and setting policies for collegiate golf.

Dailey’s 30-year tenure is the second-longest for a Wake Forest coach, trailing only Jesse Haddock’s 32-year tenure leading the Demon Deacon men’s golf program from 1960 to 1976 and 1978 to 1992. In 2010, she was honored with the naming of the Dianne Dailey Learning Center, a state-of-the-art training center for the men’s and women’s golf programs.