WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Jim Grobe, the chief architect of the most successful run by Wake Forest football in the ACC era, announced Monday he is resigning as head coach at Wake Forest University.
Athletic Director Ron Wellman made the announcement during a news conference on Monday. Wellman said Grobe informed the team on Monday afternoon.
“We just met with the team. Jim announced his resignation to the team,” Wellman said on Monday.
“This is a sad day for Wake Forest Football when you lose someone like Jim. We are certainly going to miss his leadership. At the same time, he has achieved so much that we wish him nothing but the best,” Wellman said. “He is a friend, but he is a tower of a man.”
During the news conference, he said he believes this is the best thing for him and the university.
“These past two seasons we have achieved not what I wanted to for the program,” Grobe said. “I love our team. These guys are like my own sons. At the same time… I feel like this will be good for them.”
Grobe added this was something he has been thinking about for a while.
“This is something I have been thinking about for a while… I just really feel it’s probably good for the program to have some new energy,” Grobe said. “I want things good for Wake Forest. If someone else is able to come in here and do that, I’ll be their biggest fan.”
Grobe said it always comes down to winning football games.
“Bottom line is you have to win games. We’ve had issues with a lot of different things, injuries… and other things,” Grobe said.
Members of the Wake Forest University community, fans and former players expressed high opinions of Grobe.
“Coach Grobe gets the most out of his players more than any other school and I think that’s because of the time and effort he invested into the character of the player not just the talents of the player,” said former NFL player Ryan Plackemeier, who played for Coach Grobe at WFU from 2002-2005. “He coached that we need to see family, friends and put faith in front of winning, not that winning wasn’t important … winning was definitely important but you put those things above winning.”
Around 3:30 p.m., Wake Forest wide receiver Michael Campanaro tweeted: “WOW. Coach Grobe Steppin Down!!”
WOW. Coach Grobe Steppin Down!! 😔—
Michael Campanaro (@MikeCamp_3) December 02, 2013
Coach Grobe just stepped down 😱😱😱😱😱—
Matt James (@MattJames919) December 02, 2013
Grobe concluded his 13th season at Wake Forest with Saturday’s 23-21 loss at Vanderbilt, which left the Deacons 4-8 and ensured a fifth-straight losing season. He remains tied with Peahead Walker for the most victories at Wake Forest, with 77.
His record is 77-82, including 42-62 in ACC games.
In 2006, Grobe coached Wake Forest to its first ACC title since 1970 and second ever. The Deacons beat Georgia Tech 9-6 in the conference championship and lost to Louisville 24-13 in the FedEx Orange Bowl. Grobe was named national coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association, The Associated Press and other organizations.