Nebraska has officially employed Matt Rhule to be its subsequent head coach, the varsity introduced Saturday. Rhule, who led turnarounds at Temple and Baylor earlier than attempting his hand on the NFL, was fired as coach of the Carolina Panthers earlier this yr in his third season with the franchise.
“It’s a large honor to be chosen to steer the Nebraska Football program,” Rhule stated. “If you consider nice, tradition-rich packages in school soccer Nebraska is true on the high of the listing. The fan base is second to none, and I think about it a privilege to have the chance to teach in Memorial Stadium on Tom Osborne Discipline. My household and I are so grateful to grow to be part of the Husker Household, and we will not wait to get began.”
Finest 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 Energy 5 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 gained greater than eight video games since he left after the 2016 season, posting a 7-23 report.
“It’s a privilege to welcome Coach Matt Rhule, his spouse Julie, and their household to Nebraska,” athletic director Trev Alberts stated. “Coach Rhule has created a profitable tradition all through his teaching profession, and he’ll present nice management for the younger males in our soccer program. Matt is detail-oriented, his groups are disciplined and play a bodily model of soccer. Matt additionally has the character and relationship-building expertise to construct a terrific workers and excel in recruiting.”
He shall be tasked with resuscitating a Cornhuskers program hoping to rediscover its kind after a brutal starting to its Large Ten tenure. The traditionally dominant program has confronted exhausting 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 recreation since 2016.
Rhule follows 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. As a substitute, Frost accrued a 16-31 report 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 obtained his earlier two jobs — Baylor and Temple — each packages had deep depths to beat. Baylor was within the aftermath of a large 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 School 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 gained the AAC with Temple, bringing residence simply the second convention championship in program historical past. Whereas Rhule didn’t win the Large 12 Championship Recreation himself at Baylor, his gamers have been the majority of Dave Aranda’s Large 12 champions in 2021.
After almost a decade of atrophy, Nebraska is in want of a refresh. Rhule can have a possibility to rebuild the Cornhuskers and probably deliver again a few of the physicality followers have missed because the heyday of the Blackshirt period of Nebraska soccer.
Rhule was in a comfortable scenario at Baylor, however curiosity from the NFL reached historic ranges through the 2019 teaching cycle. Most anticipated Rhule to give attention to the New York Giants — a staff in his hometown for which he beforehand labored — however Carolina proprietor David Tepper supplied Rhule a large seven-year, $62 million contract earlier than he interviewed anyplace else.
The Panthers nonetheless owe Rhule greater than $34 million from his unique contract, although offset language in his contract might reduce the brunt. Nevertheless, the assured cash might additionally play a task 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 may very well be a secondary consideration as Rhule shall be paid by the Panthers for 4 extra years.
Rhule has spent only one yr of his prolonged profession west of Texas — a single-year stint as UCLA’s defensive position coach underneath Bob Toledo in 2001. Nevertheless, Rhule’s biggest asset is his capability 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. Nevertheless, Rhule reached out to the Texas Excessive Faculty Coach’s Affiliation 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 grow to be 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 enables him to remain on as receivers coach and affiliate head coach since he didn’t get the full-time job. Together with his background at Nebraska and in Southeastern recruiting, Joseph is a no brainer to maintain aboard. Whereas Rhule is coming from outdoors, he’ll ingratiate himself shortly.