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Wake Forest coaching search update: Clawson in play?

A brief recap of what we know so far regarding the search for Jim Grobe's replacement.

Coach Dave Clawson celebrates with his MAC Champions
Coach Dave Clawson celebrates with his MAC Champions
Duane Burleson

The search continues for a new Wake Forest football coach, five days after Jim Grobe resigned after 13 years of service to Wake Forest. Here is a recap of the week's events, and what we know so far.


Jim Grobe resigns, making it official at a 4:15 press conference at Deacon Tower. In a conversation with Director of Athletics Ron Wellman, J.P. Mundy is told that Wake Forest will not "rush into a mistake" and that there is no timeline for this coaching search. Wellman also tells Mundy that he keeps an updated list of desirable coaching candidates every year, as part of his standard procedure.


Going off a message board post, BSD finds a flight plan on FlightAware that shows a private plane flying from Winston-Salem to Muncie, Indiana. Having already been informed that prominent booster Richard Budd is letting Wellman use his plane, BSD begins investigating flight details. The plane flies to Muncie and then heads to Rock Hill, SC for the evening before flying to Maryland the next day. The plane remains parked there as of this posting.


BSD confirms through a source on the ground in Muncie that the flight from Winston-Salem indeed deposited Ron Wellman. Local and national newspaper reports surface shortly afterward, further confirming BSD's information.


Wellman meets with Ball State University coach Pete Lembo. While rumors swirl, BSD finds out that Wellman is scheduled to go to Detroit, presumably to watch coach Dave Clawson coach Bowling Green in Friday's MAC Championship against Northern Illinois. BSD confirms late Thursday that, despite any talks taking place with Lembo, Wellman is still scheduled to arrive in Detroit on Friday.


Amidst heightening Lembo-to-Wake rumors, BSD confirms that Wellman is in Detroit. Bowling Green upsets Northern Illinois, prompting the following quotes during Clawson's postgame presser (h/t Martin Rickman,

"You can build for seasons or you can build programs," Clawson said. "People were trying to run us out of town three years ago because we were 2-10. At that point we were redshirting players and we were trying to lay the foundation because when we got good we wanted to stay good. A lot of people aren't allowed to do that. I'm very fortunate I have a president and an athletic director that allowed us to build a program the right way so it can sustain itself. We're good this year, we just won a championship and i think we're built to be good for a long time."

"We're going to enjoy tonight. There was rumors a couple years ago that i was getting fired and you guys were asking me that question, and now that we're winning you're going to ask that question. I don't hate you for asking that there's other things. I don't appreciate the question right now. I know you have to ask it but there's no comment on that."

A reliable BSD source indicated that Clawson had probably already had discussions with Wake Forest. That is not improbable, based on Wellman's strong ties to Bowling Green. It is not clear when those discussions may have taken place.

Keep checking back for updates as news happens.