WACO—Baylor University—reeling in the wake of an investigation into the way the school handled reports of sexual violence—begins the summer with an interim president and acting head football coach in place and the athletic director’s resignation in hand.
David Garland, former dean of Truett Theological Seminary, once again assumes responsibility as the university’s interim president June 1, after regents removed Ken Starr from the president’s role. Starr agreed in principle to continue as the university’s chancellor and will remain as the Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law at Baylor Law School.
Garland served earlier an interim president from August 2008 to May 2010, and the university also tapped him as interim provost in 2014-15.
Change in athletic department leadership
On Memorial Day, Baylor announced Ian McCaw resigned as vice president and director of athletics, four days after regents announced he had been sanctioned and placed on probation.
“After much reflection and prayer, I have decided that a change in athletics department leadership is in Baylor University’s best interest in order to promote the unity, healing and restoration that must occur in order to move forward,” McCaw said.
“I have always sought to put the university’s needs ahead of my own. My time at Baylor has been an incredible journey filled with some of the most remarkable people I have ever known. I am grateful to Baylor Nation for its support and dedication, and to all who have done so much to advance the athletics program.”
Baylor’s regents issued a statement saying they “understand and accept this difficult decision” by McCaw and expressed gratitude for his service to the university.
They also thanked McCaw for his involvement in enlisting Jim Grobe—former coach at Wake Forest University, a private school in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Baptist roots—as acting head football coach.
Grobe fills the vacancy created when regents announced Art Briles, head football coach at Baylor since 2008, had been “suspended indefinitely with intent to terminate.”
‘An impeccable reputation’
McCaw called Grobe “the right leader at this time to move Baylor University and the football program forward.”
“Coach Grobe enjoys an impeccable reputation within the intercollegiate athletics community and is a man of great integrity and faith,” McCaw said.
Grobe, the 2006 Associated Press National Coach of the Year, served from 2006 to 2013 as chair of the ethics committee for the American Football Coaches Association, headquartered in Waco.
“It is an honor for me to have the opportunity to join the Baylor football program during this important time,” said Grobe, who has worked as a college football analyst since leaving Wake Forest after the 2013 season. “I am looking forward to getting to know and working with the coaches and players in the coming days, and I have great respect for Baylor as an institution and its long-standing heritage.
“As a coach, winning is important. At the same time, I want to assure the Baylor family that every decision we will make in this football program will be made with Baylor University, her students and our student-athletes in mind.”