It is amazing his name hasn’t come up.
Already in town, orchestrator of easily the best local story of the most recent autumn, oozing with personality, charisma and character, Matt Rhule seems a quality, if not obvious, candidate to be deemed worthy of consideration by the Eagles’ head coach-search braintrust.
Yet, from all accounts, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Even Saturday’s Tom Coughlin connection piece in the Philly Inky, yet another mind-numbing example of trying to link some kinda “local” into any story, that focused on Rhule’s ties to the latest upcoming interview in South Philly makes sure to note that the Temple University football coach is not being looked at for the job himself.
Makes ya wonder, do these guys calling the shots have any clue … any whatsoever?
Paging Jeffrey Lurie … Paging Howie Roseman … Paging Tom Donahue.
Hello … any of you there? Losing overhyped wunderkind Adam Gase to the Miami Dolphins is tough, sure, but ‘cmon now, you gotta maintain focus. Still a job to do with finding Chip Kelly’s replacement.
For selfish reasons, no actual desire resides here to see Rhule stray from North Broad. Being a Temple alum and longtime supporter of Owls athletics, particularly the formerly woebegone grid program, kinda would like to have him at the helm another 5, 15, 25 years.
But, not for nothing, what Rhule has accomplished in three years as a head coach at the college level – in relative reality – blows away what the last Eagles head coach did at that level before becoming the hottest commodity in the coaching carousel back in 2013. Sorry, ChipBots, any of you who may remain, but taking a completely irrelevant program to the cusp of a New Year’s bowl game trumps taking over a national top-10 outfit and keeping it on that path.
Make no mistake, what Kelly did at Oregon, taking the Ducks to three top-4 finishes in four years, was tremendous. It was quite possible, too, for anyone following Mike Bellotti and buoyed by Nike’s coffers who possessed some coaching acumen.
What Rhule has done at Temple, amid the ridiculous negative vibes forever emanating throughout the entire metro region and beyond, was accomplish the impossible. He made laughingstock Temple not only relevant – in a national sense, mind you – he made it good. So good that the school’s pronouncement of developing an on-campus football stadium didn’t draw snickers but serious, “yeah, it could happen” concern from as important a voice as new mayor-elect James Kenney, who wants the surrounding neighborhood’s best interests factored before any plans move along.
Plus, Rhule is a people person, blessed with an engaging personality that allows him to bond with individuals from all backgrounds, no matter their pay grade or “string” status.
Having previously served as an offensive coordinator at Temple, experienced a cup of coffee under Coughlin and played for Joe Paterno on the defensive side of the ball, in addition to his current run as the Owls’ head coach, seems to me his background, especially in terms of being well-rounded and successful of late, measures up quite nicely with anyone else Jeff and the Boyz have considered or interviewed.
But, you know what, keep him out of the mix. Be fine with me.
May or may not be Birds’ loss. No doubt will be to Temple’s benefit.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Temple football Rhule No. 1: Believe in your head coach
A look at Temple head coach Matt Rhule’s particulars and accomplishments.
LB, Penn State
Western Carolina 2002-05
New York Giants 2012
College Head Coach
Big Ten 1994
AAC East Division 2015
After starting his reign as Owls’ head coach with 10 losses in his first 11 games, Rhule has gone 17-10 since. Included in that was an 8-0 run that bridged the 2014 and 2015 season. The 2015 squad’s 7-0 start was a first in school history, although the 1934 team under the legendary Glenn “Pop” Warner began 7-0-2 before losing in the inaugural Sugar Bowl. Wayne Hardin’s 1974 edition opened up 6-0.
Rhule directed the Owls to their first win against his alma mater, Penn State, in 74 years this past fall, a dominating, 27-10 victory at Lincoln Financial Field before an announced sell-out crowd of 69, 176 on September 5.
Actually came in a 24-20 loss to Notre Dame this past Halloween night before another sell-out at the Linc, this time a record 69,280, as his Owls gave the No. 9 Irish all they could handle, holding the lead until 2:09 remained.
The Owls registered the best three-year run of victories (26 combined) in school history while Rhule served as Al Golden’s offensive coordinator in 2009-10 and Steve Addazio’s co-OC in 2011, which included a New Mexico Bowl win.
RECORD SETTER 2
The Owls posted their best regular-season win total of 10 this past fall under Rhule. Temple had won 10 games before in 1979 under Hall of Fame coach Wayne Hardin, but that included a Garden State Bowl victory.
EYE FOR TALENT
Rhule, while an assistant, was the Temple coach who recruited Tyler Matakevich to come to North Broad and eventually guided him, as head coach, to being the Owls’ third consensus All-America, and first since running back Paul Palmer in 1986, as well as the 2015 Bronco Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik awards winner, the 2015 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, the seventh player in FBS history to record 100 tackles in all four seasons of playing eligility, and Temple’s all-time stops leader with 493.