Aranda Fires DC Roberts, S/ST Coach Wheat

Ron Roberts

Only one week after the Baylor Football team finished the regular season with a 6-6, 4-5 record, head coach Dave Aranda fired both Defensive Coordinator Ron Roberts and Safeties Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Ronnie Wheat from the staff. The news may have shocked the Baylor fans who believed Offensive Coordinator Jeff Grimes and sophomore QB Blake Shapen were the main reasons why the squad didn’t accomplish what some expected preseason. Returning super senior starters on both the offensive and defensive lines was enough to excite the masses who perhaps overlooked the difficulties of having young players in all of the skill positions. Shapen had many a Ch*rlie Br*wer moment in his first season as the starter, but certainly not every loss this season was due to his inaccuracies. Roberts—Aranda’s former mentor and one of the main members of the inaugural coaching squad three years ago—led the Baylor defense to historic highs last season in the unofficial second Year of the Bear with a 12-2 record, Big 12 Championship, and top-10 Sugar Bowl victory, but the defense dropped off quite shockingly this year. In their six losses this season, the Bears’ defense gave up 26, 36, 43, 31, 29, and 38 points to their non-conference and Big 12 opponents. Of course the Baylor offense could have done more to secure victories with greater points, but those defeat differentials are a different sight from last year’s. The departures of star defensive athletes like S Jalen Pitre and LB Terrel Bernard exposed just how disparate Roberts defenses are with and without experience. In just Wheat’s first season as the Safeties Coach and Special Teams Coordinator, the special teams corps was a glaring issue as many games were decided by brutal special teams mistakes. Young DBs were just as big of a problem for the Baylor defense that saw incredible drops and misses in coverage against talented Big 12 receivers. Wheat’s influence was definitely not a positive during his one season with the Bears. Who knows who Aranda will replace Roberts or Wheat with, but I trust him wholeheartedly to bring new talent in to the defensive staff!