Nebraska seems to be within the last phases of hiring Matt Rhule as its subsequent coach, based on ESPN. Rhule, who led turnarounds at Temple and Baylor earlier than making an attempt his hand on the NFL, was fired as coach of the Carolina Panthers earlier this yr in his third season with the franchise.
Best recognized for taking Baylor from 1-11 to an 11-3 marketing campaign and 2020 Sugar Bowl berth, Rhule spearheaded one of many quickest turnarounds in Power Five historical past. He additionally led Temple from 2-10 to back-to-back 10-win seasons and an AAC championship in 2016 previous to departing the Owls for the Bears. Temple has not received greater than eight video games since he left after the 2016 season, posting a 7-23 document.
If Rhule will get the Nebraska job, he can be tasked with resuscitating a Cornhuskers program hoping to rediscover its type after a brutal starting to its Big Ten tenure. The traditionally dominant program has confronted arduous occasions throughout convention realignment, failing to win 10 video games in a season since 2012, its first yr within the league. Nebraska has not made a bowl sport since 2016.
Rhule would observe Scott Frost as coach. Frost, a former championship-winning quarterback with the ‘Huskers, was seen as a program savior making his return to Lincoln, Nebraska. Instead, Frost collected a 16-31 document throughout one of many worst tenures by a coach in program historical past. He was fired three video games into the 2022 season after a 1-2 begin and loss to Georgia Southern.
When Rhule received his earlier two jobs — Baylor and Temple — each applications had deep depths to beat. Baylor was within the aftermath of an enormous Title IX scandal and solely had one participant dedicated when Rhule took over this system. Temple had a number of profitable seasons, however fell to 4-7 earlier than Steve Addazio left to take the Boston College job.
In each circumstances, Rhule tore this system all the way down to the studs and rebuilt them in his picture — one in all improvement, toughness and high-IQ soccer. Rhule received the AAC with Temple, bringing residence simply the second convention championship in program historical past. While Rhule didn’t win the Big 12 Championship Game himself at Baylor, his gamers had been the majority of Dave Aranda’s Big 12 champions in 2021.
After almost a decade of atrophy, Nebraska is in want of a refresh. Rhule could have a chance to rebuild the Cornhuskers and doubtlessly convey again a number of the physicality followers have missed because the heyday of the Blackshirt period of Nebraska soccer.
Rhule was in a soft state of affairs at Baylor, however curiosity from the NFL reached historic ranges throughout the 2019 teaching cycle. Most anticipated Rhule to concentrate on the New York Giants — a group in his hometown for which he beforehand labored — however Carolina proprietor David Tepper provided Rhule an enormous seven-year, $62 million contract earlier than he interviewed wherever else.
The Panthers nonetheless owe Rhule greater than $34 million from his unique contract, although offset language in his contract might reduce the brunt. However, the assured cash might additionally play a job in a possible contract negotiations with Nebraska.
Nebraska has loads of cash to clear the $8.85 million assured wage by the Panthers, however head coach wage might be a secondary consideration as Rhule might be paid by the Panthers for 4 extra years. The issues with wage vs. different teaching issues might lengthen negotiations.
Rhule has spent only one yr of his prolonged profession west of the Mississippi River — a single-year stint as UCLA’s defensive position coach beneath Bob Toledo in 2001. However, Rhule’s best asset is his skill to neatly consider and rent teaching expertise to develop his weaknesses.
When Rhule took the Baylor job, he had by no means coached within the state of Texas. However, Rhule reached out to the Texas High School Coach’s Association and finally employed three highschool coaches to his workers — off-field assistant David Wetzel, quarterbacks coach Shawn Bell and present Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire. The trio helped him instantly change into a favourite of notoriously fickle highschool coaches.
Rhule has an enormous benefit already on workers — Mickey Joseph. The interim coach and former Nebraska quarterback has a clause in his contract that permits him to remain on as receivers coach and affiliate head coach if he doesn’t get the full-time job. With his background at Nebraska and in Southeastern recruiting, Joseph is a no brainer to maintain aboard. While Rhule is coming from exterior, he’ll ingratiate himself shortly.
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