Some folks in Demon Deacon land have been grumbling about Wake Forest's football coach Jim Grobe. His teams haven't had a winning record since the 2008 season and he has a .500 record as Wake's coach since 2001. Personally I love having the guy lead Wake's football team and here are just a few reasons why:
- His record is the best since "Peahead" Walker had a 77-51-6 record from 1937-50.
- He's coaching one of the smallest FBS schools in the country.
- As the coach has said himself, it's a challenge coaching an "academic" school.
- His team plays in a tiny stadium relative to other schools in the ACC/FBS.
- Those last three items combined make Wake a tough place to recruit.
- He runs a clean program.
- He holds his players accountable.
That last point is a big one, and the following quote from a recent piece about Grobe's handling of a couple of players who aren't living up to behavioral expectations is a perfect example of his approach:
"I try to tell our football team – and they don’t always listen – talented people are a dime a dozen, people with really good talent,'' Grobe said. "And the last thing in the world that you want to have happen is 10 or 15 years from now, everybody is still talking about your talent but not talking about what you did. There’s a lot of kids that before they can blink their college careers are over.
"Of course, honestly, football is not really as important as ultimately being a good dad, being a good father, being a good worker, having a meaningful career and helping others – all those kinds of things that we know are more important than football.
"But you hate to see guys have all the talent in the world to play football and not use it. We’ll see going forward. The key word in all of this is hope.''
Personally I'll take this and a .500 record over a winning record and a program running amok any day.
Another note: I suspect fans might be a little less anxious about the football program if the basketball team hadn't been so atrocious the last few years. In other words he's getting sucked into the "Fire Wellman/Bzdelik" vortex, which will hopefully start to disappear after this upcoming basketball season. It better or there could be a serious housecleaning afoot in Winston-Salem.