Influential N.C. sports execs: John Currie
athletic director, Wake Forest University
Twenty-six years after he started his college athletics career working for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, the Chapel Hill native returned to North Carolina to succeed Ron Wellman, who had the job since 1992. Currie comes from Tennessee, where he was fired after eight months as athletic director over a controversial hiring of a football coach. He was previously AD at Kansas State from 2009-17, earning a reputation as a strong fundraiser. A challenge at Wake is reviving the basketball program under Danny Manning, whose teams have a 65-93 record over the last five years. The former NBA star’s contract runs through 2025. Wake’s enrollment is the smallest of any Power Five conference university.