Thank You, Coach Grobe

Yesterday afternoon at 4:15, there was a press conference.  Our head football coach, Jim Grobe, resigned.  The story is here at Wakeforestsports.com.

The real story though, is what a class act Jim Grobe is.  I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at events I was hosting on campus, as well as other events.  He was a terrific human being.  Nice to everyone, unassuming, personable.  A thoroughly likeable guy.

He wanted his players to be students first and athletes second.  He still wanted them to win, of course, but win the right way.  He cared about his players’ families.  He wanted to help teach his players how to be fine young men, people of character.  He wanted his students to graduate.  And they did.

grobe obWake Foresters will always love Jim Grobe for the 2006 football season, which led us to an ACC Championship and a trip to the Orange Bowl.  That Orange Bowl might have been the largest single gathering of Wake Foresters in one place at one time.  No one ever thought we’d be there, and in some ways just the journey there meant more than the game itself.

My fondest memories of Coach Grobe, though, were his joint appearances with our late and much beloved basketball coach, Skip Prosser.  They were a one-two punch that was unbelievable.  Coach Grobe with his aww-shucks Southern charm and his euphemisms like wanting his players to play so hard that ‘snot bubbles’ would come out of their noses, and Coach Prosser who had a hard Pittsburgh working class exterior, but who was one of the best read men on campus, who might have quoted famous historians in one breath and delivered a biting witty remark the next.  I lived for those events.

So thank you, Coach Grobe.  You will be missed.

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