Football Announces Coaching Changes, Additions

Wake Forest football assistant coach Steed Lobotzke will assume new duties as offensive coordinator, while Wake Forest graduate Tom Elrod returns to his alma mater to serve as an assistant coach, Demon Deacon head coach Jim Grobe announced today.

The coaching changes take place following the departure of offensive coordinator Troy Calhoun, who accepted a position with the Denver Broncos of the NFL earlier this month.

Lobotzke, who coached the centers and offensive guards for WFU the last two seasons, will continue to oversee those two positions while coordinating the Deacon offense. Elrod comes on board as the tight ends and tackles coach. Assistant Jeff Mullen will now oversee the quarterbacks, while Kevin Sherman will continue to coach the wide receivers in addition to becoming more involved in the passing game. Longtime Grobe aid Billy Mitchell will remain in his role as assistant head coach, while also continuing to oversee the running backs and kickers.

"I felt that when Troy left, any of our coaches could have coordinated the offense," Grobe said. "But 'Lobo' has been so heavily involved in the implementation of the system I just felt he was a natural. He may have been the primary force in developing our running game the last two seasons. I think he's a natural to take over for Troy."

Lobotzke has helped guide the Deacon ground attack, which has led the ACC and set school records in rushing yards in each of the past two seasons. Since his arrival at WFU, two offensive guards - Michael Collins (2001) and Blake Henry (2002) - have earned first-team All-ACC honors. Lobotzke is a 1992 graduate of the Air Force Academy who served with Grobe for four seasons at Ohio University before coming to Wake Forest.

"The combination of Lobotzke and the other coaches will work out great," said Grobe. "It's an exciting time for all our offensive coaches, as they will all become a little bit more involved than they have in previous seasons."

Elrod, a former Deacon quarterback who earned a bachelor's degree from WFU in 1997, spent three seasons as a graduate asisstant for the Demon Deacons (1999-2001) while earning his MBA from the University. Elrod spent the 2002 season as the offensive line coach at Wofford College, helping guide the Terriers to a 9-3 record and second-place finish in the Southern Conference. The Wofford offense ranked second nationally in Division I-AA in rushing (342.2 yards per game), and four offensive linemen earned all-conference honors under Elrod's tutelage.

"It was an easy decision to bring back Tom Elrod," Grobe said. "He's a Wake Forest graduate, he served as a graduate assistant here and had a very successful year coaching the offensive line at Wofford last season. Being a WFU grad, he's very loyal and very excited to be back. Not only will he help us on the field but I also think he'll be an excellent recruiter. He loves Wake Forest."

The Demon Deacons open spring drills today and will conduct the NCAA-allowed 15 practice sessions over the next five weeks, culminating with the Spring Game on Saturday, March 29.

Demon Deacon Digest Top Stories