PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When you have a precious commodity, other people will covet what you have. It’s just a fact of life.
Over the last four years, Matt Rhule has done a masterful job on North Broad Street. Now, he’s heading to Waco, Texas.
Rhule led the Temple Owls to 20 wins over the last two seasons and their conference champs for the first time since 1967.
However, Baylor is in the Big 12, which will allow Rhule to compete at the highest level.
“I love Matt Rhule,” said Temple Athletics Director Patrick Kraft. “Matt and I are good friends and you know, I just said I wanted him to make the right decision for his family and for him and I thanked him for all he did for this program and I also said I’m going to get a great football coach.”
Rhule, 41, has been a hot candidate on the national stage for at least a year and no one wants to see him go.
Temple senior defensive lineman Avery Ellis weighed in. “A lot of people are disappointed. He means so much to this program, but at the same time, being selfish, being in his shoe, you would want to see him do better.”
Ellis and the rest of the Owls will play Wake Forest in the Military Bowl on December 27. Assistant head coach Ed Foley will coach the team in that game.
This move seemed inevitable, and Temple basketball coach Fran Dunphy weighed in on his colleague’s decision. “I think it’s sort of inevitable. I wish him nothing but the very, very best.”
Rhule is leaving behind a really good football team. For the Owls, a new era begins along with the search for a new coach.