jim grobe

The Baylor Bears fired head coach Art Briles after the school’s failure to deal with many sexual assault claims on campus that surrounded the football program.

On Monday, 247Sports reported that the Bears will hire Jim Grobe as their interim head coach for the 2016 season. This came as a surprise, as defensive coordinator Phil Bennett was believed to have been the person to step up into the interim role.

Grobe started off his coaching career at Ohio University in 1995, and most recently coached at Wake Forest from 2001-2013. During his time at Wake, Grobe won an ACC title in 2006, and helmed the Demon Deacons to an Orange Bowl appearance. He is the only coach to have ever led Wake to a 10-win season in the history of the program.

The Grobe hire seems focused on the idea of cleaning up the now-stained appearance of the football program, and as SB Nation’s Baylor Bears blog OurDailyBears points out below, Grobe seems like the right guy to do so:

Baylor also made it a point to name him as the interim coach. Grobe could very well keep the job if he’s able to have success and exceed expectations with the Bears this upcoming season. But it doesn’t appear that’s the intention of the program, as the school will take all season to prepare to make a big hire in the offseason.

While that might seem ideal, there could certainly be drawbacks to making a temporary hire. In-state powers Texas A&M and Texas could also be hiring coaches this offseason, with Kevin Sumlin and Charlie Strong on their respective hot seats.

But, the Grobe hire isn’t about winning games or necessarily the future success of the program on the field. It’s about keeping things steady in a time when things are extremely unstable, and about getting the program in the right direction after much turmoil and dysfunction.

The crop of head coaches will be greater at the end of the 2016 season, and that’s good for Baylor. For now, Grobe is a fine hire for the program that needs stability.


About Harry Lyles Jr.

Harry Lyles Jr. is an Atlanta-based writer, and a Georgia State University graduate.