Baylor has now officially lost Matt Rhule to the NFL.
Reports emerged Tuesday morning that Rhule was finalizing a deal to become the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers. While the organization has yet to confirm the hire, details of a rather sizable contract to which Rhule would be signed trickled out.
At the same time an official announcement was made by the Panthers, Baylor released a pair of statements Tuesday afternoon addressing Matt Rhule officially leaving the university.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR MACK RHOADES
We are grateful to Matt Rhule for all that he has done for Baylor Football and for the University over the last three years. Together, he and his staff have moved the program forward both on and off the field. While our hope was that Matt would be our coach for many years to come, we knew there was a possibility that the NFL would come calling.
Matt’s time with Baylor marks one of the greatest turnarounds in college football history. Our football program’s success this year is evidence that we are headed in the right direction with 11 wins, an appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game and the Sugar Bowl.
We have launched a national search for our next head coach, and we will not make any comments on prospective candidates or where we are in the process until we are ready to introduce the next leader of our football program. We look forward to finding the individual who will carry forward the vision of Preparing Champions for Life.
We wish Matt, Julie and their children the very best as they embark on a new journey together.
PRESIDENT LINDA A. LIVINGSTONE
Baylor University extends its deepest appreciation to Coach Rhule for his exceptional leadership of our football program over the past three seasons. We are especially appreciative of the efforts he has made in positively shaping the lives of our football student-athletes, who have excelled on the field, in the classroom and in the community. Coach Rhule certainly leaves the program in a better place than when he arrived, and we have a bright future ahead for Baylor football. We wish Matt, Julie and the entire Rhule Family well as they begin the next chapter in their lives.