In a story that flew pretty far under the radar this NCAA Basketball tourney season, Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter literally gave up an organ for one of his players in the most unselfish statements the leader of a program can make. When most folks think of the Demon Deacons they picture the hoops squads from the 90's that competed for Atlantic Coast Conference and D-1 National Championships on the shoulders of Tim Duncan.
However the tale of Walter and freshman Kevin Jordan, who was diagnosed with Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Autoantibody Vasculitis just days before his first season on campus officially started, is one that should give fans a new perspective on the concept of "family" that college coaches sell on the recruiting trail like its going out of style.
Upon learning that one of his "family" members was suffering from the disease and in immediate need of a kidney transplant, Walter stepped up and got tested. When it turned out that none of Jordan's biological family was an actual match for the transplant - and that Walter was - Wake Forest AD Ron Wellman was asked if this was kosher for the program. Luckily for Jordan, and Deacon fans everywhere, the quick answer was to proceed ahead - and that's just what they did.
On February 7, Walter and Jordan underwent general anesthesia, and when they woke up they had a bond much greater than normal player and coach. Walter literally saved Jordan's life and while both will now go through a painful recovery period, the worst appears to be behind them - and Walter can now emphatically tell prospective recruits that coming to Wake Forest is like joining a family and really, really mean it.