Report: Matt Rhule Will Stay at Baylor Amid Jets Head Coaching Rumors

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 10, 2019

HOUSTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 27: Head coach Matt Rhule of the Baylor Bears looks on during the fourth quarter in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium on December 27, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Baylor football head coach Matt Rhule, who has reportedly been pursued by the New York Jets, is staying in Waco, Texas, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Source: #Baylor coach Matt Rhule sent a text message to his staff indicating he’s staying in school. Essentially he’s not going to the #Jets.

Rhule had been connected to the Jets, who fired head coach Todd Bowles at the end of the 2018 season. On Wednesday, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reported that Rhule was "in the mix," and Dan Graziano of ESPN.com said Rhule interviewed with New York on Sunday.

Ralph Vacchiano of SNY offered insight into a potential breakdown behind the scenes that dissuaded Rhule from going to New York:

Ralph Vacchiano @RVacchianoSNY

It’s not clear if the Jets actually offered Matt Rhule their job, but Rhule pulled out of contention over staff issues, a source confirmed. Jets weren’t going to give him total control over hiring assistants.

Jessica Morrey of KCEN-TV happened to catch up with Rhule at a stoplight Wednesday and asked him if he was leaving.

"I'm still in Waco," the 43-year-old head coach responded. 

Rhule has a 36-40 collegiate head coaching record in four years at Temple and two seasons at Baylor, but he's turned around both programs. The Owls went 2-10 in 2013 under Rhule before going 10-3 in 2016, and the Bears improved from 1-11 in 2017 to 7-6 and a Texas Bowl win this season.

Baylor will undoubtedly be thrilled to see Rhule return. The Bears were picked to finish ninth in the Big 12 last season by the conference's preseason poll, but they ended tied for fifth with a 4-5 record. They also nearly picked off Texas on the road, losing 23-17 to a team that finished No. 9 in the nation and beat Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

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Rhule is entering the third year of a seven-year contract.

Soon after the Rhule report was released, Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington of ESPN reported that the Jets hired ex-Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase to lead their team.

The 40-year-old Gase went 23-25 in three years leading the Miami Dolphins before being relieved of his duties after the 2018 season. He was the Denver Broncos offensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014 and helped guide the team to an NFL-record 606 points in the former year.

On Wednesday, Cimini reported that Gase and ex-Green Packers head coach Mike McCarthy were options. The 55-year-old McCarthy won 125 games and Super Bowl XLVover 12-plus seasons with Green Bay before being fired in November of this season.


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