Wake Forest dealing with rare coaching departures Print
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Wednesday, 27 August 2008 12:11
NCAAF Headline News

 WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -Wake Forest is experiencing one of the pesky byproducts of building a successful program: Other schools want to hire its coaches.
While Jim Grobe spurned Arkansas this offseason to stay with the 23rd-ranked Demon Deacons, two of his assistants have moved on. Defensive coordinator Dean Hood took the head job at Eastern Kentucky, and quarterbacks coach Jeff Mullen took over as offensive coordinator at West Virginia.
For Wake Forest, that's significant turnover - in Grobe's first six seasons, he lost just two of his assistants. But the Demon Deacons aren't worried about any disruptions to their continuity. Both replacements have long histories with Grobe.
New tight ends and fullbacks coach Steve Russ played linebacker for Grobe's teams at Air Force in the mid-1990s and spent four seasons coaching at Ohio under Brian Knorr, a former Grobe assistant with the Bobcats who's now coaching Wake Forest's receivers.
Additionally, former Wake Forest player Tom Elrod shifted responsibilities and now is in charge of the Demon Deacons' quarterbacks, most of whom he originally recruited to campus.
``We have that relationship, not just a football relationship, which is a big part to having good chemistry in the quarterback room,'' starter Riley Skinner said. ``He's a little more laid-back (than Mullen), but he still gets after it.''
Grobe has a slightly different perspective, joking that his biggest concern about Elrod is ``to not coach the quarterbacks like he did his tackles and tight ends - I thought he was going to get them on the sleds and start driving 200-pound dummies.''
``I would say that we won't skip a beat there,'' he said.
BOWDEN AND 'BAMA: Clemson coach Tommy Bowden spent three enjoyable years as an assistant at Alabama, but might have gotten a better job at the school if his father, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, had landed the head job.
``Yeah, I was in the room when he got back from the interview,'' said the younger Bowden, whose ninth-ranked Tigers open the season against Alabama in Atlanta.
``I was in the room when he slammed the door and said, 'It's going to somebody else.'''
Tommy Bowden, who had just lost his offensive coordinator job at Duke to a coaching change that brought in Steve Spurrier, figured he'd have a position on his father's new staff with the Tide. It wasn't long, though, before Tommy landed at Alabama as Bill Curry's receivers coach.
Bowden said this week that his father coaching the Crimson Tide would've changed the fortunes of the family.
``I think I was going,'' Bowden said. ``We had discussed it.''
Would Tommy have been Alabama's receivers coach?
``He really didn't say. I was thinking more of an assistant or associate head coach myself,'' Tommy joked. ``But I don't know what he was thinking at the time.''
PERFECT FIT: Jacksonville State coach Jack Crowe calls Jonathan Dwyer a fullback. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson calls Dwyer a B-back.
After Georgia Tech's opener against Jacksonville State on Thursday night, it should be clear that Dwyer is THE back in the Yellow Jackets' new triple-option attack, no matter what his position is called.
The 228-pound Dwyer looks to be a good fit for Johnson's offense. Calling Dwyer a major concern for his team, Crowe went a step further by proclaiming Dwyer the perfect fit for the offense, even better than former Georgia Southern standout Adrian Peterson of the Chicago Bears.
Crowe said Peterson ``was a phenomenal fullback in this offense.''
Added Crowe: ``But I think in Jonathan Dwyer, they probably have a better player than they've ever had at that position. I have great respect for him. ... I don't know if they ever could have recruited Jonathan to play fullback in this offense, but he's probably perfect.''
Dwyer showed off his power potential last season, when he rushed for 436 yards and nine touchdowns as a freshman while playing behind Tashard Choice.
Dwyer, who will line up in a three-point stance behind quarterback Josh Nesbitt, is expected to be joined by A-backs Roddy Jones and Lucas Cox in the starting backfield.
AP Sports Writers Pete Iacobelli in Clemson, S.C., and Charles Odum in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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