Four days after firing head football coach Art Briles, the Baylor Bears have a new head man. Jim Grobe, formally the head coach at Wake Forest, is expected to be announced as the interim head coach for Baylor football. According to reports, Grobe will take over purely on an interim level. He will be the head coach through the end of the football season, with the current staff staying intact. Once the 2016-17 season is over though, a full house-cleaning will take place as the Bears try to find a long term answer to replace Briles, the most successful coach in Baylor history.
After the firing of Briles on Thursday, or more correctly the "suspended with intent to fire", rumors began saying that defensive coordinator Phil Bennett would be named the new interim. It made sense, as Bennett was the only assistant coach with head coaching experience, a disastrous 19-51 record over 6 seasons at SMU. However, the official release never came.
Could the Bears be looking at a longer term option right away, like former offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery, the current head coach at Tulsa, or maybe a bigger name interim like Mack Brown?
Grobe was 77-82 in 13 seasons at Wake Forest from 2001-2013. From 2006 to 2008, Grobe led the Demon Deacons to 28 wins and three straight bowl games. Strangely enough, Grobe emerged as a fan favorite of some in the Baylor community for the Bears head coaching position in 2008, a search that would pluck Art Briles from Houston to lead the team.
During that stretch of success at the small private school in North Carolina, Grobe turned down overtures from Nebraska in 2007. Grobe was known for running a clean program, one that stylistically is very different than what the Bears have done under Coach Briles.
This plan of action with Grobe mirrors what Arkansas did with John L. Smith taking over for the fired Bobby Petrino. Smith led the Razorbacks to a disapointing 4-8 season and was kept on in a consulting role during the transition to Bret Bielema. Grobe will be the 26th head football coach in Baylor football history.