Quotes From Friday's Football Press Conference

Ron Wellman and Jim Grobe comment on new contract agreement.

Athletic Director Ron Wellman:

"Good afternoon and thank you for attending this very important announcement concerning the future of our football program. During our search for a football coach two years ago, Jim Grobe and I spent many, many hours talking about what he had accomplished at Ohio University and his vision for our football program, but at one point Jim asked me a very important question and that was what are you expectations for the Wake Forest football program. I told him I felt it was extremely important that the program be compliant and abide by ACC, NCAA and Wake Forest institutional regulations. I also told that it was very important that we graduate our football players. I also told him that it was important that our head coach and the entire staff be role models for those football players and that the entire staff, the head coach in particular be a positive spokesperson for the university. But equally important I told him it is extremely important that we win, that we have a winning program and that we win consistently with our program. Jim Grobe has embraced all of those objectives for our football program. In accepting our position, Jim promoted a certain concept. That concept had been rewarded with what you saw and what we've all seen on the field the last couple of years."

"Let's just review those last couple of years if you would: We had two winning seasons consecutively, we've had bowl-eligible teams in both those seasons, this last season of course going to the Seattle Bowl and defeating Oregon. In Jim's first two years, he's had 13 victories, that is the most victories by any Wake Forest head coach in their first two seasons. The last two years we have lead the ACC in rushing. The 2002 team lead the ACC in total offense, just the second Wake Forest team to do so. This year we averaged 408 yards per game, we broke the school record for most points at 356, rushing touchdowns at 33, first downs at 274."

"Just as important, Jim Grobe's teams have been known for by what he would say is playing with your hair on fire and blowing snot bubbles all the time. I think we've all grown accustomed to the expectations of Jim Grobe's football teams. We are not where we want to be yet with our football program and we still have a long way to go, but we're heading in the right direction."

"In recognition of what had been accomplished the last two years, Jim and I began talking about a new contract for him in November. The two weeks we had off in November, I thought it would be a good time to talk about what had transpired in our football program over the last couple of years, but also about the future of our program. It became very, very evident to me at that time that Jim wanted to remain at Wake Forest for a long, long time. I expressed the same sentiments to him, telling him that we want him to be our football coach for a long, long time. I told him I thought he was the right man for the job, at the right time, at the right institution. We can do things under his leadership that have not been done at Wake Forest for many, many years."

"In recognition of what Jim has accomplished, and the enthusiasm that we have regarding the future of Wake Forest football, Jim Grobe and the university have agreed to a new 10-year contract that will keep him at Wake Forest for many years to come. We really do believe that our program is headed in the right direction, we are convinced of that and with the commitment that Jim had made to our program and that the university had made to him, we are embarking upon something today that we have not seen in football in the history of Wake Forest. Our future is extremely bright, but we still have a way to go. We still have many things to accomplish in this football program, but today is a day to relish in what our football program holds for the future. Jim, congratulations on your commitment to Wake Forest University. I look forward to the process with you for the next decade."

Coach Jim Grobe

"First of all I would like to thank Ron Wellman and Dr. Hearn and really the entire Wake Forest community for the confidence they have shown not only in myself, but our coaching staff and especially to me personally. I would also like to thank our friends, the fans and all of the alums that have shown us that we are appreciated at Wake Forest. There was a period of time at the end of the season where it affected my quite a great deal to see the kind of support and the kind of caring people that we have in the Wake Forest community."

"We are really proud of what we have accomplished over the last couple of years and we are very excited about our future. But as Ron mentioned, we do have a lot of work to do and I think that the confidence that has been shown to Ron, Dr. Hearn and Wake Forest will give us the opportunity to lay a foundation for the future and to give us a chance to build the kind of football program at Wake Forest that we will all be proud of."

"I want you to know I'm delighted and proud to be at Wake Forest. This is my school. We have only been here a couple of short years, but we've gotten to love the people here, and not only the university, but also the community. I feel very welcomed here. I love to kids that we work with in the football program and the student body. I love the support that we are starting to get in football. I love Skip Prosser and I still love the basketball program. We're trying to drag the football program up to the level that we have been in basketball for a long time. That was a goal for our coaching staff when we first got here. We wanted to be thought of in football with in the same terms of not only the men's basketball program, but also all of our Olympic sports here at Wake Forest. So we are excited to be at Wake Forest. We are delighted to know that we have the confidence of the university behind us right now and I echo not only my excitement, but I echo the excitement of our coaching staff."

On assistant coaches: "We are trying to improve our status with the assistant coaches and they are pretty well taken care of. The thing that we want to do as much as possible, well its hard to keep all of your assistants, but we want to do the most for our coaches in order to try and encourage them to stay around. When we win football games, its not me, its our whole staff and we need them to be recognized for it."

On the upgrade of the facilities: "As you know we are working on all of our facilities over on campus. We are improving our practice facilities; we have already added lights to the field and now we are working on the offices, the locker rooms, and the team meeting rooms, we are working on all the coaches' offices, we are working on the player's lounge, all those facilities that you have become accustomed to are being improved as we speak and should be finished by July. We have also talked about the improvements that could be made in the future here at the stadium."

On the status of the program since he got here: "When Ron and I first talked, one of the things we wanted to do was build a program for the future at Wake Forest. We really didn't want to take short cuts, a flash-in-the-pan kind of deal, and so what we have tried to do, as you well know, is to try and redshirt as much freshmen as possible. I think this gives us the opportunity now to continue that process. The thing that happens so many times when you are trying to rebuild is you are trying to do so many things over night that you don't lay a foundation and I think we have done a pretty good job. We didn't bring in one kid from last year's class that I was disappointed in. I think that the next class we bring in will be another very strong class and so we are just developing a foundation. What this contract gives us the opportunity to do is not worry about any quick fixes and we can continue to be patient. We are not patient when it comes to winning and losing, but we've got to be patient as far as the long term. This contact gives us the opportunity to look down the road and not take short cuts and to try and really do a good job and lay a foundation for Wake Forest football."


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