Sports

Rhule, university agree to new six-year deal

The university announced Monday that coach Matt Rhule agreed to a new six-year contract that runs through the 2021 season.

Coach Matt Rhule agreed to a new six-year contract that runs through the 2021 season, the university announced Monday morning. The university did not disclose financial terms.

Rhule led the Owls to a 10-3 regular-season record this year and a No. 24 ranking in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Rhule and the Owls will also be playing in their first bowl game since 2011 when they face the University of Toledo in the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl on Dec. 22 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida.

“While this has been such a special season, there is still so much more that Temple football can accomplish,” Rhule said in a university-issued statement. “I am proud to coach such incredible student-athletes and I am honored to to continue to be a part of the Temple community.”

Rhule, who was hired in December 2012 after coach Steve Addazio left for the same position at Boston College University, is the second coach in program history to win 10 games. He can become the first coach to win 11 games if the Owls defeat Toledo in the Boca Raton Bowl.

In his three years as coach, Rhule has compiled a 18-19 record. The coach went 2-10 in his first season in 2013 and 6-6 last year before reaching 10 wins and his first bowl appearance in 2015.

Rhule and the university agreed to a four-year contract extension this summer, which kept the coach with the Owls through the 2021 season. According to an Inquirer report, Rhule made $1.5 million with bonuses this season.

“One of the first decisions I made as Temple’s president was to hire Matt Rhule as football coach,” President Theobald said in a university-issued statement. “Matt’s commitment to our student-athletes on and off the field, as well as the program’s substantial improvement each season, has more than justified my confidence in him. He works tirelessly for the betterment of our players, our football program, and our university.”

According to media reports, Rhule met with University of Missouri Nov. 29 to interview for the vacant head coaching position left by the departure of former coach Gary Pinkel, who resigned after the season due to his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  

OwlScoop.com first reported Nov. 30 Rhule was no longer a candidate for the position. On Thursday, Missouri hired Barry Odom, who was the team’s defensive coordinator this past season.

First-year Houston coach Tom Herman, who defeated Rhule and the Owls, 24-13,  in The American’s inaugural conference championship game Saturday at TDECU Stadium, agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Cougars Friday.

Herman’s contract, which was originally valued at $1.35 million per year with incentives, now has a base salary of $2.8 million, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Michael Guise and Owen McCue can be reached at sports@temple-news.com

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