Baylor is actively seeking a new coach, perhaps closing in on SMU’s Chad Morris. But one person who isn’t in the running is the guy currently running the show.
Acting head coach Jim Grobe said on Monday that he is not interested in keeping the job past Baylor’s bowl game.
Grobe said he informed new athletic director Mack Rhoades about his decision in late September, after the Bears won their Big 12 Conference opener against Oklahoma State.
Grobe said Rhoades has asked him several times since then if he’d be interested in taking the job permanently, but each time, Grobe said he’s told him no.
“Honestly, football needs a fresh start,” Grobe said at his weekly press conference. “All the other sports here are in great shape right now, and I would expect the next coach to have football competing for championships in a hurry. Whoever gets this job is going to be very fortunate.
“I’ve never been around better people than we have been at Baylor , or in the Waco community. Baylor is a great school academically with an amazing, amazing student body. The facilities and support for Baylor football make it in my mind one of the great opportunities in the country right now. I’m very, very proud of our players who have remained loyal to Baylor. They’ve given me 100 plus reasons for hope in these difficult times.”
Baylor finishes its regular season this Saturday at West Virginia. The Bears, which started 6-0, have lost five games in a row. They became bowl eligible, Oct. 15, but there has been some speculation that the Bears may turn down an invitation.
“I’ve heard it,” said cornerback Ryan Reid about turning down a bowl invitation. “They haven’t discussed it with us. That’s just something I’ve heard from the media. But they haven’t discussed it with us.”
In a written statement, Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades said the school is intending to accept a bowl bid.
“Our intent, at this time, is to accept a bowl bid, for our student-athletes who have worked so hard to earn it over the course of this season. Our focus, as it has been throughout the season, is on our student-athletes and trying to finish strong against a great West Virginia team this weekend in Morgantown,” he said.
Whomever takes over the Baylor program will inherit a mess. The Bears have only one committed recruit. They lost a prospect over the weekend when four-star defensive back Noah Daniels withdrew his pledge. He received a scholarship offer from Oklahoma on Monday and will visit Norman this weekend.
Reports suggest that Baylor is targeting SMU’s Chad Morris for its coaching opening. Morris runs a similar offense that was perfected by former Baylor coach Art Briles, who was fired in May. The Dallas Morning News reported that Morris and Baylor administrators have met twice about the job, with Baylor offering a contract worth $24.5 million. Morris’ appeal took a hit, Saturday, when SMU lost to Navy, 75-31. The Mustangs were playing at home with a bowl bid on the line.
Morris, 47, is a relative late bloomer on the college scene because he spent years directing some of the best high school teams in the state. Morris replaced Briles at Stephenville High School and then led Lake Travis High School to a 32-0 record and two state championships. . Morris served as offensive coordinator at Clemson and was the highest paid assistant coach in the country. He’s in his second season with SMU, his first college head coaching job.
Morris could turn down Baylor and hope that Texas A&M, his dream job, would come open soon. Morris graduated from A&M. Kevin Sumlin is in his fifth season with the Aggies, who have underachieved with an 8-4 record while losing their final four SEC games. It could be the third straight year that Sumlin’s A&M teams will finish with only eight wins.
Other names on Baylor’s radar include North Carolina’s Larry Fedora, a Texas native and one-time Bears assistant and Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre, whose daughter attended Baylor.