WACO, Texas – Baylor University officials announced Monday that 2006 Associated Press National Coach of the Year Jim Grobe has been named acting head football coach, effective immediately. Grobe brings to Waco 19 seasons of Football Bowl Subdivision head coaching experience and a well-earned reputation for disciplined play, having enjoyed a record-setting 13-year tenure at Wake Forest (2001-13) and a successful six-year run at Ohio University (1995-2000).
“Jim Grobe is the right leader at this time to move Baylor University and the football program forward,” said Baylor Vice President and Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. “He has successfully led two FBS programs during his career,” McCaw added. “Coach Grobe enjoys an impeccable reputation within the intercollegiate athletics community and is a man of great integrity and faith.”
“It is an honor for me to have the opportunity to join the Baylor football program during this important time,” said Grobe, who has served as a college football analyst since leaving Wake after the 2013 season. “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.”An active member of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), which is headquartered in Waco, Grobe served an eight-year term (2006-13) as chair of the organization’s ethics committee. Only three men – including legendary Baylor football head coach Grant Teaff – have served the AFCA longer in that role.
Hired in December 2000 to take over a Demon Deacon football program long regarded as an Atlantic Coast Conference afterthought, Grobe led a Wake Forest program that won only 38 games in the 1990s to a remarkable resurgence over his 13 seasons.
In 13 seasons at Wake Forest, Grobe matched the school record for career coaching victories and tripled the previous program high for career ACC victories. He led the Demon Deacons to five of the program’s eight all-time bowl appearances, including the winningest three-year stretch in program history. Grobe’s final record at Wake Forest was 77-82 (.484).
From 2006-08, Wake went 28-12 (.700) and played in three straight bowl games for the only time in school history. Included in that successful three-year run was the Demon Deacons’ most successful season ever in 2006, when Wake Forest won a school-record 11 games and the ACC Atlantic Division title, then defeated Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game. It marked the school’s second-ever ACC title (and first since 1970).
Grobe's efforts were rewarded by his peers and the media, as he 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.
Grobe-coached Deacons hold nearly every major record at Wake Forest, as he and his staff recruited quarterback Riley Skinner, the school's all-time leading passer; Chris Barclay, the all-time leading rusher; and Sam Swank, the school's top scorer. Alphonso Smith, the Wake Forest and ACC career interception leader, and Michael Campanaro, the career receptions leader, also played for Grobe at Wake Forest.
Grobe’s collegiate career began as a middle guard and linebacker at Ferrum (Va.) Junior College (1971-72) and the University of Virginia (1973-74). He was a two-year starter and Academic All-ACC selection at UVA, and was inducted into the Ferrum College Alumni Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
His coaching career began in 1975 as a graduate assistant at Virginia. He then spent two seasons (1976-77) as head coach at Liberty High School in Bedford, Va., before returning to the college ranks as an assistant coach at Emory & Henry (1978), Marshall (1979-83) and Air Force (1984-94).
In 1995, Grobe took the reins of an Ohio University team that had finished 0-11 and ranked last among Division I-A teams a year earlier (and had won just 17 games total in the previous 10 seasons). In six seasons under Grobe, the Bobcats became a regular contender for the Mid-American Conference championship, posting five consecutive winning conference records. Overall, Grobe led the Bobcats to a six-year record of 33-33-1, including a 31-25 mark over his final five seasons.
He was named the 1996 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year, his second season at the Athens, Ohio, school, after leading the program it its first non-losing season since 1982.
A native of Huntington, West Virginia, Grobe earned his bachelor of science degree in education from Virginia in 1975 and a master's degree in guidance and counseling from Virginia in 1978. He and his wife, Holly, have two sons, Matt and Ben, and three grandchildren.