Matt Rhule named head coach at Baylor

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday December 06, 2016


Temple head coach Matt Rhule is the new head coach at Baylor, the school announced Tuesday. The news was first reported by Fox Sports.

Rhule went 28-23 in four seasons at Temple, posting back-to-back 10-win seasons and winning the AAC championship last weekend. He was also a Temple assistant from 2006-11 and spent 2012 with the New York Giants. Before Rhule arrived, Temple had won 10 games just once in program history.

“I am truly honored and humbled to join the Baylor Family,” Rhule said in a release, “and I can’t thank President Garland and Mack Rhoades enough for this incredible opportunity. Baylor is a tremendous institution with a history of football success and I know the passion that so many have for the Bears will help bring the community together to reach even greater heights. I am excited to get started.”

Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades interviewed Rhule for the Missouri job last winter, when Rhoades as the AD at Missouri. Rhule doesn’t have ties to Texas, and his Temple team was built on defense. Rhoades said in September that an offensive style and Texas ties would be factors, but it's clear Rhule made enough of an impression. 

“We could not be more excited to welcome Matt, Julie and their children to the Baylor Family,” Rhoades said in a release. “When we set out on our search for a new leader of our football program, we wanted a coach who shared our values, who had demonstrated success, who showed a true commitment to the overall student-athlete and who we believed could lead Baylor to a national championship. We found all of that and more in Matt and I know that he will be a perfect fit with the Baylor Family.”

At Baylor, Rhule inherits a program dealing with the wake of the sexual assault scandal that resulted in the dismissal of Art Briles and changes at athletic director and president. The Baylor job has been open since the summer, and they met with many candidates, who had mixed interest and conversations. Bleacher Report's Jason King reports Larry Fedora never interviewed, but USA Today's Dan Wolken notes Baylor felt they would have had to overpay. 

This year, the Bears began the season 6-0, but lost their final six regular season games. The current recruiting class only has one single commitment. It’ll be imperative that Rhule hires a staff with Texas ties.

There is a lot of drama, issues and questions around the program. But there’s a new stadium, it’s in Texas, and the school has shown it is willing to pay top-dollar if you win there.

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Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.