According to Jason La Canfora, Panthers HC Matt Rhule was the top target for a number of high-profile job openings in the college football world.
La Canfora says major feelers were put out toward Rhule. He was supposedly the top target for LSU before they hired Brian Kelly away from Notre Dame and also received interest from USC and Oklahoma.
Rhule has declined those opportunities so far to remain in the NFL, although La Canfora notes people close to him say the job he would be most tempted by would be Penn State if it should ever open.
La Canfora says Rhule is expected to continue to be a hot college coaching candidate in future seasons, though the caliber of jobs available could be different.
Others have reported that Rhule has turned down college interest this year but it could be a fallback should his tenure in Carolina continue to flounder.
Rhule, 45, began his coaching career at Albright as a linebackers coach back in 1998. He worked for a number of schools including Buffalo, Western Carolina, UCLA and Temple before being hired by the Giants as an assistant offensive line coach for the 2012 season.
Rhule returned to Temple as head coach in 2013 and spent four years in the position before being hired as the new head coach at Baylor in 2017.
During his time as a head coach, Rhule’s teams at Temple and Baylor produced a record of 47-42 (52.8 percent) and four bowl appearances.
So far in the NFL, Rhule is 10-18 in two seasons with the Panthers.