Grobe, who is 58-50 in eight-plus seasons, had $4.2 million in compensation during the 2007-08 fiscal year, according to USA Today.
Because Wake Forest is a private school, the newspaper had to obtain the compensation figure from IRS documents. Private universities must note their five highest-paid employees on certain tax documents.
The revelation put Wake Forest officials in damage control.
Athletic director Ron Wellman said Grobe's compensation — more than twice what was previously reported — was misleading because it included a deferred compensation package that vested that year and was reported for the first time. He also noted that the coach's contract was restructured and the figure included back pay.
"It's the market," Wellman said. "It's the world in which we live. And if you're committed to living in that world, which we are, then you have to meet the market if you're going to have a good program and retain good people.
"And while there may be discomfort with paying people a certain salary, it is the market and it's the world in which we've chosen to live."
As of the the 2005-06 fiscal year, Grobe was making $1.021 million, according to tax forms, but that was before the Demon Deacons won the Orange Bowl. Wake Forest then extended the coach's deal through 2016.
Arkansas made a run at hiring Grobe in 2007 and the coach's deal was reworked a second time.
Minus the deferred compensation package, USA Today listed Grobe's deal at $2,172,127, which puts him third among Atlantic Coast Conference coaches. Florida State's Bobby Bowden ($2,319,375) and Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson ($2.300,000) top the ACC list.
After Grobe comes Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer ($2,138,000).