Billings lands job at Wake Forest

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The longtime defensive coach will direct wide receivers for the Demon Deacons.

Former Southeast Missouri State head football coach Tim Billings wasn't out of work for long.

Billings, who resigned in November after six seasons at Southeast, on Wednesday accepted a position as the wide receivers coach at Division I-A Wake Forest.

Wake Forest, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, went 4-7 last season.

"I'm excited about the opportunity," Billings said. "I know [head coach] Jim Grobe, and two of my closest friends coach there."

Billings, 49, said he had been pursing coaching opportunities, but had not even contacted Wake Forest, so the offer came as a surprise.

"I was looking, I just wanted to see if the right thing opened up, and there just wasn't a lot out there to pursue," Billings said. "I didn't send a resume or anything [to Wake Forest], he [Grobe] just called me and offered me the job."

Although Billings has primarily coached defense throughout his career, he'll be on the other side of the ball with the Demon Deacons.

"He [Grobe] said I know you're a defensive coach, but you can help our offensive staff because you know what defenses try to do," Billings said.

Billings, who remained in Cape Girardeau after leaving Southeast in November, said he and his family -- which includes his wife and two school-age children -- will miss the area, but they're also looking forward to the move.

"It's always tough to leave friends, and my wife's family is from here, but there's excitement, too," Billings said. "We're going to a great place, being back in Division I in front of 80,000 people."

Billings came to Southeast after 10 seasons as an assistant coach at Marshall. He was the Thundering Herd's defensive coordinator during his final year there.

At Southeast, he had a record of 25-43, including 2-9 last season.

After going 3-8 and 4-7 in his first two Southeast seasons, Billings led the team to an 8-4 mark in 2002, which represented the program's best record since 1969.

Southeast dipped to 5-7 in 2003, but played in what amounted to the Ohio Valley Conference championship game on the final date of the season. A 22-17 loss to Jacksonville State kept Southeast from gaining a share of the title and earning the program's first playoff berth on any level.

Southeast fell to 3-8 in 2004, followed by last year's 2-9 mark.

Billings, whose first college head coaching position was at Division I-AA Southeast, said he has not ruled out wanting to run a program again. But that's not at the top of his current list.

"At this point in time I'm not even worried about it or thinking about it," he said. "Right now, I'm just real excited about this opportunity."

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