The hottest name in the football world right now might be Matt Rhule. Rhule was fired from the Carolina Panthers on October 10, 2022 amidst a 1-4 start to the 2022-2023 season. The former Baylor Bears coach was hired in January of 2020 to be the fifth coach all-time of the Carolina Panthers.
Rhule was highly sought after because he turned around two different college programs within three years of being head coach. His first head coaching gig was at Temple University. The Owls finished 2-10 on the season his first year at the helm, but by the time he left the program in 2016 he had led the Owls to back-to-back seasons of a 10-4 record.
Upon his departure from Temple, he donned the headset for the Baylor Bears. Once he took over in Waco, Texas it was the same story as it was in Philadelphia. His first season the Bears finished 1-11 on the season but by the time he left the program, the Bears finished 11-3.
With a résumé like this, it’s a no-brainer why Marty Hurney and Dave Tepper wanted him to take over the Carolina Panthers. Although for several coaches in the past, the jump from the NCAA to the NFL has proven unsuccessful and unfortunately for Rhule it was the same story.
The Panthers never achieved a winning record under Rhule and went through a carousel of quarterbacks from the likes of Louisville legend Teddy Bridgewater to Sam Darnold to Baker Mayfield. Without the presence of a franchise quarterback, the odds were stacked against Rhule from the onset.
He stayed with the Panthers from January 2020 until October 2022 and is still owed north of 40 million dollars by Carolina due to his contract buyout. He will make $840,000 a month for the next 48 months. Needless to say he is not in a hurry to take on another coaching job just yet.
This leads into the discussion of the head coaching position at the University of Louisville. Scott Satterfield is currently under contract through 2024 but the on-field product this year has left more to be desired. He bought himself some time with the win over Virginia but he has not quite pulled himself out of the muddy waters just yet.
It’s certainly not impossible. Louisville could finish the season right at .500 or better and with the Top-20 ranked recruiting class coming in, Satterfield could build on this year and turn it into the winning program that Cardinal Faithful know it can be.
However, if Satterfield were to be let go, then Louisville could be an attractive job for Matt Rhule. Louisville, Kentucky is centrally located in the Midwest and in regards to recruiting, Rhule has proven himself as a capable recruiter, landing Kenny Pickett to Temple before he left for Baylor. The Midwest is a region where he would have access to a lot of schools and could continue his recruiting résumé fairly easily.
Also, he would be in a respected conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference, but he would not have to play against the likes of Alabama or Georgia. With all of these positives, Louisville could be a dark horse team to land Rhule. If he were to come to town, Rhule could build on the core of this foundation that Louisville has already and take this program to 10+ wins a season as he has proven he can do multiple times.