Jim Grobe to replace Art Briles at Baylor on interim basis – ESPN

8 months ago Comments Off on Jim Grobe to replace Art Briles at Baylor on interim basis – ESPN

Baylor has hired former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe on an interim basis to replace Art Briles.

Grobe, 64, takes over a Baylor program that has been rocked by allegations of sexual assault and other violence involving several players. Last week, Baylor’s board of regents suspended Briles with intent to terminate and stripped chancellor Kenneth Starr of his title of university president.

“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,” McCaw said in the statement. “Coach Grobe enjoys an impeccable reputation within the intercollegiate athletics community and is a man of great integrity and faith.”

“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.”

Jim Grobe

According to sources, the Bears also considered former San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary, who is a former Baylor All-American, and current defensive coordinator Phil Bennett for the job before settling on Grobe, who last coached in college in 2013.

“It is an honor for me to have the opportunity to join the Baylor football program during this important time,” Grobe said in the statement. “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.”

Grobe, a native of Huntington, West Virginia, coached at Ohio from 1995 to 2000 and Wake Forest from 2001 to 2013. He had a 77-82 record in 13 seasons with the Demon Deacons and his teams played in five bowl games. In 2006, Grobe guided Wake Forest to an 11-3 record and an unlikely ACC championship.

Grobe resigned as Wake Forest’s coach after a 4-8 finish in 2013, his fifth consecutive losing season.

Briles, 60, had eight years left on a contract that paid him nearly $6 million per season, which made him the Big 12’s highest-paid coach. After inheriting a program that had endured 12 consecutive losing seasons before Briles was hired, he directed the Bears to at least a share of back-to-back Big 12 titles in 2013 and 2014.

Briles had a 65-37 record in eight seasons at Baylor, and his teams won 10 or more games in four of the last five seasons and played six consecutive bowl games.

In the fall of 2015, Baylor hired Pepper Hamilton to review its past treatment of sexual assault claims. Outside the Lines reported last week that some Baylor officials, including coaches, knew about incidents of sexual assault, domestic violence and other acts of violence involving football players, but most players didn’t miss playing time as punishment.

In its report, Pepper Hamilton wrote: “There are significant concerns about the tone and culture within Baylor’s football program as it relates to accountability for all forms of student athlete misconduct.”

Two Baylor players accused of sexual assault were recruited by Briles after they were dismissed from their previous schools for off-field problems. In August 2015, former Baylor football player Sam Ukwuachu was sentenced to 180 days in jail after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a women’s soccer player. Briles was criticized for accepting Ukwuachu as a transfer student after then-Boise State coach Chris Petersen dismissed him from the team for off-field issues. Ukwuachu’s former girlfriend testified at his trial that he had struck and choked her when he attended Boise State.

Then, in April, former Bears star defensive end Shawn Oakman was arrested on a charge of sexual assault. A Baylor graduate student told Waco, Texas, police that Oakman “forcibly removed” her clothes, forced her onto his bed and then sexually assaulted her on April 3, according to an arrest warrant obtained by ESPN.

Oakman, the school’s all-time sacks leader who wasn’t selected in last month’s NFL draft, told police he had consensual sex with the woman. Oakman was dismissed from Penn State after he allegedly grabbed the wrist of a female store clerk.

ESPN’s Max Olson contributed to this report.

Jim Grobe to replace Art Briles at Baylor on interim basis – ESPN

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