PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Matt Rhule appears ready to become the next football coach at Temple.
The Owls made an offer to Rhule to become the Owls’ head coach Friday, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.
Rhule, New York’s assistant offensive line coach, was set to coach the Giants on Sunday at Atlanta.
Rhule formerly spent six seasons as an Owls assistant and was considered the frontrunner from the start to take over for Steve Addazio, who left for Boston College last week. The school had no immediate comment. However, players took to Twitter late Saturday night to spread the word Rhule had accepted the offer.
“Matt Rhule the new head coach!!” wrote Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich.
“Welcome back to Temple, HEAD Coach Rhule!!!” tweeted kicker Tyler Mayes.
Temple went 4-7 this season after having three straight winning seasons and playing in two bowl games under Addazio and Al Golden.
Rhule has strong ties to Temple, a factor high on the university’s wish list after Addazio bolted after only two seasons. Rhule spent six seasons on the Owls’ coaching staff before joining Tom Coughlin’s staff as the Giants’ assistant offensive line coach. Rhule, who played four seasons at Penn State, was the assistant offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, as well as the recruiting coordinator, when he left for the Giants.
Under Rhule’s lead, Temple’s recruiting class ranked No. 1 in the Mid-American Conference from 2006-2008.
Once one of the worst programs in the nation, the Owls found their footing in the MAC, but struggled in a return to the Big East this season.
Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw said this week about 75 people had expressed interest in the program’s vacant football job. Eagles’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, a former Owl, confirmed he interviewed for the job.
Bradshaw said it was important to hire someone who “embraces everything Temple.”
He found his man.
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