Baylor head coach Matt Rhule is no stranger to having his name connected to various opportunities to coach at the next level, in the National Football League. With Baylor preparing to face Georgia in the Sugar Bowl this week, Rhule is once again the center of some NFL coaching carousel headlines as the NFL season draws to a close today.
According to multiple reports on Sunday, Rhule will be interviewing with the Carolina Panthers as the NFL franchise in Charlotte looks to fill a head coaching vacancy. The Panthers fired Ron Rivera earlier this month.
The Panthers plan to interview Baylor coach Matt Rhule, 44, for their head coaching job, per source. Rhule's team is playing Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day. Owner David Tepper said it would be a tough transition for a college coach, but… https://t.co/COCXYxBNL3
— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) December 29, 2019
After coaching Baylor to a regular-season record of 11-2 with an appearance in the Big 12 championship game, it was expected Rhule would be among the trendy names for various coaching opportunities, and the NFL has been something Rhule has tested previously. In January 2018, Rhule interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts before ultimately pulling his name out from consideration. Baylor agreed to a contract extension with Rhule back in January with the hope of holding off any further NFL explorations. Rhule has also previously interviewed with the New York Jets.
Rhule commented on the NFL speculation last week to ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter, suggesting he could only be lured away if the job was “next to perfect.” The Panthers job would certainly have some positives to charm Rhule’s interest (like former Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey)
Rhule has spent one football season in the NFL as an assistant offensive line coach with the New York Giants in 2012. He joined the Giants after six seasons on the coaching staff at Temple before ultimately returning to become Temple’s head coach in 2013. Rhule was hired by Baylor after the 2016 season. With a possible change coming with the New York Giants, don’t be surprised if Rhule has another option to evaluate in the coming days if a coaching change is made.