Baylor Hires Jim Grobe, Replaces Briles as Interim

Wake Forest was never a powerhouse team in the ACC but Baylor hired Jim Grobe anyway.

Grobe is a respected coach who wins by the book and after the firing of Art Briles it seems the school is looking to improve its image.

"As a coach, winning is important," Grobe said. "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."

Grobe spent 13 years at Wake Forest and took the school to five of their all-time eight bowl games. His record was was 77-82 (.484), and the Demon Deacons won the 2006 ACC championship.

There was speculation and unconfirmed reports following the move to dismiss Briles that Baylor would promote defensive coordinator Phil Bennett to interim coach. Instead, the university &mdash beset with uncertainty after also demoting president Kenneth Starr &mdash decided to go outside the program for at least a temporary solution.

"Jim Grobe is the right leader at this time to move Baylor University and the football program forward," Baylor Athletic Director Ian McCaw said in a statement. "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 unanimously named the 2006 ACC Coach of the Year and honored as National Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association, the Bobby Dodd Foundation, The Associated Press, The Sporting News and CBSSports.com.

"It is an honor for me to have the opportunity to join the Baylor football program during this important time," he said. "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.

Baylor fans won't want to hear this but his Wake teams were not high scoring. Grobe played a defensive brand of football. This seems to be the right move because promoting Phil Bennett or anyone else off the current Baylor staff would send the wrong message.

Before taking over at Wake in 2001, Grobe coached Ohio University for six years. In 1995 he took over an Ohio program that had not won more than four games in a single season the previous 12 years.

Briles was suspended with the intent to terminate. He was two years into a 10-year contract that paid more than $4 million annually. In eight seasons at Baylor, Briles had turned the Bears into a Big 12 powerhouse after they languished at the bottom of the conference since 1996.  

While the report by the Pepper Hamilton law firm did not give details and specific names of other coaches involved in wrongdoing, the fact finding stated staff members spoke directly to potential victims of sexual and violent crimes, discouraged them from reporting allegations and withheld information about allegations against football players from the university.

No word on if Grobe plans on making any staff changes. Briles's son, Kendal, is Baylor's offensive coordinator and Briles' son-in-law, Jeff Lebby, is running backs coach.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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