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WFU's Grobe voted National Coach of the Year by his peers

Posted Thursday, January 11, 2007

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Deacon head coach chosen as AFCA award winner

San Antonio, TX — Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe has been chosen as the 2006 American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year. The winner is selected by the 10,000 members of the AFCA. The most recent winners of the Division I-A award include Joe Paterno of Penn State, Tommy Tuberville of Auburn, Pete Carroll of Southern California and Jim Tressel of Ohio State.

“The first thing I want to do is to thank my wife, Holly,” Grobe said. “She spent a lot of time at home taking care of our two boys while I chased a dream to coach football."

“I am certainly blessed and honored to win this award. It is a great feeling to know that your peers don't think you are doing a bad job of coaching. This honor feels so good to win because I know how many great coaches there are in the AFCA.”

“I fell a little bit guilty because I have one of the best coaching staffs that anyone could ask for. I have a group of guys that have no egos, we are all good friends and our families are close. My coaches don't care if we win 49-0 or 3-0, they just want to get the job done. They are a very unselfish group and I owe them everything.”

“We had a great group of players. I have never had this much fun coaching a group of guys. They were a lot like our coaching staff in that they really liked each other very well and were very unselfish. They had fun going to practice, fun going to the weight room and they had fun playing on Saturday. I had a lot of fun watching them play this year.”

“So I feel guilty because this was the easiest year I have ever had as a head coach. I thank my players, my staff and Wake Forest University. I have a great athletic director who is totally supportive of our football program, as is our president. Wake Forest is just a great school to work at. I thank everyone again for this great honor.”

The Associated Press, Bobby Dodd Foundation, CBS Sportsline and The Sporting News have each chosen Grobe as their coach of the year in 2006.

Grobe’s Demon Deacons were picked to finish last in the ACC’s Atlantic Division in the preseason and lost their starting quarterback, starting running back and starting defensive end early in the season. Wake Forest responded by winning a school-record 11 games and its first ACC Championship since 1970. The Deacons represented the ACC in the FedEx Orange Bowl.

Wake Forest posted the biggest turnaround in college football this season by winning seven more games in 2006 than in 2005. The 2005 Deacons went 4-7 and the 2006 Deacons went 11-3. Wake Forest has been ranked in the top 25 for the nine straight polls, the longest streak in program history. The Deacons finished the year ranked 18th in the Associated Press, the highest finish in Wake Forest history. The Deacons posted a winning record in the ACC for the first time 1988 and only the seventh time ever. Wake Forest swept its ACC Tobacco Road rivals for the first time since 1987.

Grobe is the first coach to lead Wake Forest to two bowl games during the ACC era.

Grobe was also voted to the AFCA Board of Trustees this week at the organization’s national convention in San Antonio. He will represent District 3, which primarily covers ACC territory. Texas’ Mack Brown and Ashland University’s Lee Owens are the two other new trustees.

They join a group of distinguished head coaches who guide the organization. The Board formulates policy and provides direction for the AFCA, which was founded in 1922 by Amos Alonzo Stagg, John Heisman and others. The AFCA has more than 10,000 members from all levels of the profession.

Returning members of the AFCA Board of Trustees include incoming president Ken Sparks of Carson-Newman College; first vice-president Tyrone Willingham of the University of Washington; second vice-president Dick Tomey of San Jose State University and third vice-president Larry Kehres of Mount Union College.

Also serving on the Board in 2007: Rob Ash, Drake University; Mike Bellotti, University of Oregon; Tim Murphy, Harvard University; Joe Glenn, University of Wyoming; Joe Novak, Northern Illinois University; Tommy Tuberville, Auburn University; Rich Rodriguez, West Virginia University; Mike Welch, Ithaca College; Jim Tressel, Ohio State University and Rob Ianello, University of Notre Dame, ex officio member and chairman of the Assistant Coaches Committee. AFCA Executive Director Grant Teaff serves as secretary-treasurer of the organization.

Grobe has also served as the chairperson of the AFCA Ethics Committee.

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WFU's Grobe voted National Coach of the Year by his peers
Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe has been chosen as the 2006 American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year.
photo by Gene Galin
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