Report: Matt Rhule Would Be Interested in Michigan HC Job If Harbaugh Leaves for NFL

Adam WellsJanuary 22, 2022

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule talks on the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
AP Photo/Butch Dill

Matt Rhule has a job as head coach of the Carolina Panthers, but he's reportedly keeping an eye on what happens at the University of Michigan. 

Per CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, Rhule would have interest in the Wolverines' head coaching job if Jim Harbaugh goes back to the NFL. 

La Canfora reported in December that Rhule was attracting the attention of many top colleges, including LSU, USC and Oklahoma before those programs hired a head coach. 

Speculation about Harbaugh potentially returning to the NFL has picked up since the end of the regular season. 

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio reported Jan. 15 that Harbaugh is "watching and waiting to see whether a team with a reasonable ownership and general manager situation is interested in giving him an opportunity to continue [his] NFL career."

The one team that has frequently been mentioned as a potential landing spot for Harbaugh is Las Vegas.

Per The Athletic's Bruce Feldman, people in the Michigan program believe Harbaugh would take the Raiders head coaching job if it were offered to him. 

Harbaugh just finished his best season as Michigan's head coach. The 58-year-old led the Wolverines to the Big Ten championship and their first appearance in the College Football Playoff. He is 61-24 in seven seasons at his alma mater. 

Prior to taking over at Michigan, Harbaugh had a successful four-year stint as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2014. He led them to a 44-19-1 record, three straight appearances in the NFC Championship Game and an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII. 

Rhule was hired by the Panthers in January 2020 to replace Ron Rivera. He is 10-23 overall in two seasons with Carolina. The 46-year-old was 47-43 in seven seasons as a college head coach between Temple (2013-16) and Baylor (2017-19).