Tonight marks the last game of Jim Grobe's long strange trip as Baylor's interim/caretaker coach. We've made a fair amount of fun of the substitute nature of Grobe's task of "coaching" the Bears, what with a room full of coaches who are loyal to the guy he replaced, but Grobe has handled situation like a true gentleman.
He guided the Bears to a number 8 ranking before the schedule and the injuries and the depth caught up with them. All the while being a gentleman and not becoming mired in the tar pit that was the Briles' situation. He stayed above it all. He defended his players, focused on the good things they were doing on and off the field, and acknowledged the shortcomings especially when the staff he inherited decided to push an agenda late in the season. When players like Shock Linwood pushed back, there was Grobe, requiring the talented back to learn a lesson or miss out on the valuable commodity of playing time. Regardless of ability, Grobe's message was the same, the value was in the team, not the individual.
Baylor has moved on, hired a new coach and yet we are still no closer to knowing exactly what happened in Waco the last three or four years. Anyone who claims they know, one way or the other, they're lying. What we do know is that Baylor has, as an institution, put on a clinic on how to mishandle a situation or manage information. They rushed to paper over the issues and by doing so failed to demonstrate the transparency they espoused and quite frankly that Art Briles, his players and the victims deserved. As a result, information has been on a slow bleed and the wounds have festered.
One of the few things Baylor hit out of the park was bringing in Grobe to be a constant in the storm. He was a grown up in the midst of what was often a juvenile response. He should be lauded for what he did in his brief six months in Waco. He set a great example of what it is to have principles and more importantly to live by them. Seth Russell and the rest of the Bears benefited from his time there.