CAROLINAS COACH OF THE YEAR
Jim Grobe, Wake Forest
Athletic director Ron Wellman liked the rebuilding job Grobe did at
Ohio under difficult circumstances when he brought him to Wake Forest,
traditionally an outpost of football futility.
Mike Hamrick, ECU’s athletic director, played at Marshall for Grobe
when Grobe was an assistant coach there. Hamrick knew Wake’s future
was in good hands and so did Pirates coach Steve Logan, who had
opposed Grobe twice in Pirates wins over the Bobcats.
Using talent recruited by his predecessor, Jim Caldwell, Grobe and
a staff that came virtually intact from Ohio, Wake was
competitive in all but one game, a 48-24 loss at Florida State. The
Deacons finished 6-5 with the other four losses by a touchdown or
less, a drastic improvement from a 2-9 performance in 2000 in which
the Deacons were routinely blown out.
Wins over East Carolina, Appalachian State, Virginia and North
Carolina gave Deacons fans something to cheer about other than
Wake became the first ACC team to win in Greenville. The Deacons
closed their series with the pesky Division I-AA Mountaineers on an up
note. Wake got its first win at Virginia since 1981; its first win
over the Cavaliers since 1983.
The Deacs came back from a 24-0 halftime deficit in Chapel Hill for
an emotionally-charged 32-31 victory.
“If we’ve found out one thing about our kids, it’s that they don’t
quit,” Grobe said after the triumph at UNC.
If we’ve found out one
thing about Jim Grobe, it’s that he can coach.