Gil LeBreton

Grobe a great choice, but Baylor needs a new staff, too

Jim Grobe, who coached Wake Forest for 13 seasons, has been named Baylor football’s interim head coach.
Jim Grobe, who coached Wake Forest for 13 seasons, has been named Baylor football’s interim head coach. AP

Multiple outlets are reporting that former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe will be named Baylor football’s interim head coach.

Grobe, 64, is highly respected and would seem an ideal fit for the unique situation that Baylor faces.

Grobe was a college assistant for 17 seasons before becoming head coach at Ohio University in 1995. He moved to Wake Forest in 2001 and received both the Associated Press and Bobby Dodd national coach of the year awards in 2006.

Something called BearsTruth, a website, appears to have broken the news about Grobe. But if what the website said about the current Baylor assistants -- that all the coaching staff will be retained -- is true, the school is making an unfortunate mistake.

It strains credulity to think that Art Briles’ coaching staff wasn’t in some way at least partially involved in the sexual assault cover-up. Did any of them come forward to university officials and report what they knew about the charges of sexual assault?

No? Then they are as guilty as the assistants at Penn State who heard things about Jerry Sandusky and did nothing.

It seems particularly galling that Briles’ son Kendal, the offensive coordinator, would be allowed to remain on Grobe’s staff.

With a fresh, new staff, Grobe and Baylor could expect to turn the page and begin the process of putting the scandal behind them. But by retaining the current assistants, Baylor will assure that questions and media accounts of the story will shadow them throughout the season.

There is at least one lawsuit pending, relating to the cover-up. There may soon be more.

Some of the assistant coaches may get called to give depositions or even testify. How would that look?

It would be uncomfortable, no doubt, for Grobe to try to disrupt other schools’ coaching staffs to find his own set of assistants. But a few good men surely could be found -- maybe coaches, such as Grobe, who are recently retired and willing to return to the sideline for one last time.

In short, I heartily applaud Baylor for the reported decision to hire Grobe. But the university needs to finish the clean-up job.

Gil LeBreton: 817-390-7697, glebreton@star-telegram.com, @gilebreton

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