Matt Rhule hired as Panthers head coach
Matt Rhule has generated a significant amount of interest on the NFL head coaching market over the past two seasons, and the Baylor coach has finally decided to make the leap from college to the pros.
Rhule has reached an agreement to become the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers, Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports first reported.
Sources: Baylor coach Matt Rhule finalizing a deal to become next coach of the Carolina Panthers.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 7, 2020
The Panthers also had interest in New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, but Ian Rapoport of NFL Media adds that team owner David Tepper was sold on Rhule after meeting with him and his family on Monday.
The #Panthers had a top two of Josh McDaniels and Matt Rhule. Owner David Tepper spent yesterday in Waco with Rhule and his family, and he heard enough. Rather than risk Rhule getting on the plane, he made a deal. Rhule is now Carolina’s coach.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 7, 2020
Rhule had been in consideration for the New York Giants job as well, and there were rumblings that he was their top target. He also drew interest from the Cleveland Browns but the interest was not mutual.
Rhule said recently that he would only leave Baylor for the perfect job and what he felt was a stable organization, so he obviously believes the Panthers can provide that. That is at least somewhat surprising given their uncertain situation at the quarterback position, but Rhule is likely thinking long term.
Baylor went 1-11 in Rhule’s first season, but they improved to 7-6 last year and 11-3 this season. They lost to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl after nearly sneaking into the College Football Playoff.