CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, 44, is has reached a deal to become the fifth permanent head coach of the Panthers, according to the team.
So, who is Matt Rhule? Here’s a little more about the Carolina Panthers newest coach:
- Matt Rhule has been Baylor Univerity’s head coach for the past three years. After leading the Bears to 11 wins, a No. 7 national ranking and their first berth in the Big 12 Championship, Rhule was voted the Chuck Neinas Coach of the Year by his peers.
- Additionally, Rhule guided Baylor to its second-ever Sugar Bowl appearance and the 25th bowl berth in program history. Under his leadership, the Bears became the first Power 5 program to go from 11 losses to 11 wins within two seasons.
- In 2018, Rhule led the Bears to a 45-38 Texas Bowl win over Vanderbilt, and seven total victories, a six-win increase over his first season.
- Rhule is only the second coach in program history to make bowl trips in two of his first three seasons, joining John Bridgers (1960-61).
- Baylor had a record 30 players earn 2019 Academic All-Big 12 honors giving the Bears 71 total selections in Rhule’s first three seasons, the most in program history. In seven years as a head coach, Rhule has had 183 players earn academic all-conference honors.
- Since 2016, Rhule has had 11 players selected in the NFL Draft including 2017 first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals Haason Reddick and Hurd, a 2019 third-round selection by San Francisco. A total of 33 players have earned NFL opportunities in Rhule’s six seasons as a head coach.
- Under Rhule’s leadership, Baylor wrapped up its third consecutive recruiting class ranked among the top 35 nationally in 2018.
- In his time as a coach and player, Rhule’s teams have played in 10 bowl games, including four times as a head coach.
- In his first season at the helm of the Baylor program, quarterback Charlie Brewer was named the 2017 Big 12 Co-Offensive Freshman of the Year. In February 2018, Rhule and his staff secured a recruiting class ranked as high as No. 24 nationally by ESPN.
- A 22-year coaching veteran, Rhule arrived in Waco following four seasons as head coach at Temple University. There, he guided the Owls to the school’s first back-to-back 10-win seasons, a pair of bowl berths (2015-16), and the 2016 American Athletic Conference championship.
- The Owls earned their first top 25 ranking in 36 seasons under Rhule’s guidance in 2015 and among the 29 All-AAC honorees produced by Temple in his four seasons as head coach was 2015 Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy winner and two-time All-American Tyler Matakevich.
- Rhule led Temple to the 2016 AAC championship with a 34-10 victory over Navy in the title game and earned a bid to the Military Bowl. Nine players from the 10-3 squad received All-AAC honors and the Owl defense ranked third nationally allowing just 275.9 yards per game.
- In 2015, Temple won the AAC East and played in the league’s inaugural championship game. Rhule’s Owls finished with a school-record 10 wins (10-4), reached No. 22 in the AP Top 25 and played in the Boca Raton Bowl. Thirteen players earned all-conference honors, led by consensus All-American and AAC Defensive Player of the Year Matakevich.
- Temple’s win total improved to six (and a .500 record) in 2014 from two in Rhule’s first season at the helm in 2013. The Owls allowed just 23 fourth-quarter points all season in 2014.
- Rhule returned to Temple after coaching with the New York Giants under head coach Tom Coughlin in 2012. He worked closely with Pat Flaherty in coaching the offensive line. The Giants finished 9-7 and averaged 335 yards on offense.
- Prior to his stint in the NFL, Rhule spent six seasons as a top assistant at Temple under head coaches Al Golden and Steve Addazio. He spent four seasons in an offensive coordinator capacity from 2008-11, coached quarterbacks and served as recruiting coordinator in 2007, and mentored the defensive line in 2006.
- From 2002 to 2005, Rhule was an assistant at Western Carolina, serving as assistant head coach during his last three seasons. In 2005, he was offensive line coach and run game coordinator after directing the linebackers his first three years.
- Rhule was special teams coordinator during his tenure in Cullowhee (NC). In 2005, the Catamounts led Division I-AA in kickoff returns, averaging 27.44 yards per return.
- In 2004, WCU ranked 12th nationally in total defense and 15th in pass defense, largely due to the production of Rhule’s linebacker corps. The team’s top five tacklers were linebackers in its eight-man front scheme.
- In 2003, the Catamounts led the SoCon in rush defense for the first time in school history.
- Rhule arrived at Western Carolina after serving as assistant defensive line coach at UCLA in 2001. He assisted in coaching five Bruins that earned All PAC-10 honors as the team posted a 7-4 record under head coach Bob Toledo.
- From 1999 to 2000, Rhule served as an assistant coach at Mid-American Conference member Buffalo, directing the Bulls defensive line in 2000 and working as assistant defensive line coach in 1999. In 2000, the team’s sack total increased from 12 to 27 utilizing a 3-4 alignment.
- Buffalo also earned its first two Division I-A victories that season.
- Rhule began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant at Penn State in the spring of 1998 before working at Albright College in Reading, Pa., for the 1998 season. At Albright, he coached the linebackers in a 4-3 scheme and recruited western and central Pennsylvania.
- Rhule played four seasons at linebacker with the Nittany Lions under Joe Paterno. A three-time Penn State Scholar-Athlete, he earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 1997. He received his undergraduate degree in political science before earning his master’s degree in educational psychology from Buffalo in 2003.
- Rhule, a native of New York City, and his wife Julie have three children, Bryant, Vivienne and Leona.
*Information from Baylor University and Temple University
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