Veteran coach Jim Grobe named acting coach for Baylor football in 2016
The longtime Wake Forest coach will take over the Bears program from Art Briles, who was recently fired amid the program's sexual assault scandal
Former Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe will replace departing Baylor coach Art Briles as the program's "acting head football coach" for 2016, according to a release from the school.
Last week, Baylor suspended Briles with intent to terminate him in wake of the findings from the Pepper Hamilton report on assaults of physical and sexual natures by Bears players. Without wasting much time, Baylor already has found its replacement for Briles, at least for the 2016 season.
"Jim Grobe is the right leader at this time to move Baylor University and the football program forward," said athletic director Ian McCaw, who himself was put on probation by Baylor last week. "He has successfully led two FBS programs during his career. Coach Grobe enjoys an impeccable reputation within the intercollegiate athletics community and is a man of great integrity and faith."
Grobe was named the National Coach of the Year in 2006 by CBS Sports and the Associated Press; he is taking 19 years of FBS head coaching experience to Waco, Texas. Grobe also served eight years as chairman of the American Football Coaches Association's ethics committee.
According to 247 Sports, "Grobe is expected to place the majority of his emphasis on the defensive side of the ball, aiding current defensive coordinator Phil Bennett."
Legendary Baylor coach Grant Teaff told CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd that "it looks like" the Bears' entire staff will remain in place aside from Briles, at least in the short term. That means offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, Art's son, would once again lead the that side of the ball.
"The urgency right now is to protect recruiting and get everyone on board," Teaff added.
Baylor did not mention the rest of its coaching staff in its release on Grobe.
"It is an honor for me to have the opportunity to join the Baylor football program during this important time," said Grobe in a statement from the school. "I am looking forward to getting to know and working with the coaches and players in the coming days, and I have great respect for Baylor as an institution and its long-standing heritage.
"As a coach, winning is important. At the same time, I want to assure the Baylor family that every decision we will make in this football program will be made with Baylor University, her students and our student-athletes in mind."
USA Today's Dan Wolken notes that a search for a full-time coach will commence at the end of the 2016 season. Grobe will potentially be a candidate, but there are no guarantees.
Grobe went 77-82 in 13 seasons at Wake Forest but took the Demon Deacons to five bowl games and won the ACC in 2006. He is universally considered one of the more well-respected and liked guys in the business. In short, he's just what Baylor needs in a time like this.
Bennett was reportedly going to be promoted to interim head coach last week, but given the egregious Findings of Fact released by Baylor, there was no way any one on Briles' staff could have been leading the team moving forward. This move smells of Arkansas' decision to hire John L. Smith on an interim basis to replace Bobby Petrino in 2012 -- except with a lot more credibility.
Talked to a Power 5 coach last night who, like me, didn't understand how in-house promotion at Baylor was right move. Grobe adds up.— Travis Haney (@TravHaneyESPN) May 30, 2016
In short, Baylor can save its season with a guy like Grobe in charge before moving on for a full-time replacement at the end of the year.
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