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Football coach Matt Rhule has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Baylor University, according to multiple reports.
Assistant coach Ed Foley will be the interim coach for Temple’s bowl game, ESPN reported.
Evan Cooper, director of player personnel, will leave to accept the same position at Baylor, according to a Scout report.
There will be a “major announcement” regarding the football team at the Liacouras Center at 1:30 p.m. today.
OFFICIAL: We have our new Head Football Coach. Welcome to Matt Rhule and his family. #SicEm ?
— Baylor Football (@BUFootball) December 6, 2016
Baylor plays in the Big 12, a Power 5 conference. Temple was among the teams considered for Big 12 expansion toward the start of the season before conference officials decided not to add teams to the league.
Rhule will be tasked with continuing the resurgence that Baylor made under former coach Art Briles. He was fired amid a sexual assault scandal in which 17 female students reported sexual or domestic assault charges against 19 football players since 2011, according to CBS Sports. The Bears have played in seven straight bowl games after posting a 15-33 record from 2006-09. Acting coach Jim Grobe led the Bears to a 6-6 record and the Cactus Bowl this year.
“Baylor is a tremendous institution with a history of football success and I know the passion that so many have for the Bears will help bring the community together to reach even greater heights,” Rhule said in a statement released by Baylor. “I am excited to get started.”
Baylor is getting a hell of a coach and a better man. Matt and his family will be missed. Grateful for what he did at @TempleUniv. Much love
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) December 6, 2016
Rhule signed a new six-year contract in December 2015 that ran through the 2021 season.
Rhule began his tenure at Temple in December 2012 when former coach Steve Addazio went to Boston College for the same position. Before Addazio, former coach Al Golden left Temple after five seasons for the University of Miami. Boston College and Miami both play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, another one of the Power 5 conferences. Temple has had three head coaches in the past 11 seasons. No coach stayed for more than five years.
In his tenure as Temple’s head coach, Rhule has increased the program’s win total from two in 2013 to 10 this season. The Owls have won 20 games in the last two years, recording the first back-to-back 10-win seasons in program history. Temple will play in back-to-back bowl games for the first time. Temple beat Navy on Saturday to win its first conference title since 1967.
Statement from my man, the man, Temple AD Pat Kraft. pic.twitter.com/G5dL9UwpMH
— Ryan K. Rinaldi (@RyanKRinaldi) December 6, 2016
Rhule held various positions at Temple from 2006-11, including offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator. He began his coaching career in 1998 at Albright College. Temple won its last bowl game in 2011, when Rhule was the tight ends coach under Addazio.
“Temple University has been unbelievable to my family and I,” Rhule said after Saturday’s game. “Ten years we’ve spent here and it’s been nothing but class. Tremendous people from the Board of Trustees, to the administration, to the people I work with day-to-day at athletics, they’re the people who’ve stood by my side.”
Evan Easterling and Owen McCue can be reached at email@example.com.