BUFFS

Matt Rhule would make a lot of sense as the head coach of the Buffs

Oct 10, 2022, 11:37 AM
Matt Rhule...
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

It didn’t take long for the first one to fall. Just five weeks into the NFL season and a head coach has already been fired.

To the surprise of few, it was Matt Rhule who got the ax. The Panthers parted ways with the coach after a 1-4 start, bringing his career record to just 11-27 in two-plus seasons with Carolina.

This story is getting attention in Colorado because of Nathaniel Hackett. Many are using it as a launching point for a discussion about whether or not the Broncos head coach should also be shown the door after a slow start.

It should be noticed for a different reason, however. Rhule was a successful college football coach before taking over the Panthers. He was fired early in the season, at least in part, to increase his chances of returning to the college game, which would reduce the amount of money Carolina has to pay their former head coach.

What schools are looking for new leadership? While more certainly will be as the season progresses, the University of Colorado is already on the list, having parted ways with Karl Dorrell after a disastrous 0-5 start. The Buffaloes would be smart to add Rhule to their short list of candidates.

Before laughing off that notion because of the coach’s failure in Carolina, it’s important to remember why he was ever hired by the Panthers. It was Rhule’s ability to turn around failing programs that made him a hot commodity in coaching circles.

Rhule first became a head coach in 2013 at Temple. He took over a program that went 4-7 the year before and only went 2-10 in his first season with the Owls. Two years later, however, his team was 10-4. The next season, they were 10-3.

Back-to-back 10-win seasons led to an opportunity at Baylor, where Rhule took over a team that was dealing with a major scandal. Art Briles had been shown the door and the program was in disarray. He went just 1-11 during his first season in Waco. But Rhule rebounded with a 7-6 mark in his second year, followed by an 11-3 campaign in 2019 that ended with a trip to the Sugar Bowl.

In other words, Rhule knows how to bring college football programs back from the ashes. And that’s exactly where CU is at the moment. It’s highly likely that the Buffs don’t win a game in 2022.

Matt Rhule might be the butt of jokes today, as he’s the first NFL head coach fired this season. But he’d make a lot of sense in Boulder next year.

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Matt Rhule would make a lot of sense as the head coach of the Buffs