Close to 2,000 people were in attendance this afternoon as Baylor welcomed new head coach, Matt Rhule. There was a collective sigh of relief as we collectively turned the page on an interim period in our history plagued by animosity and contention among the Baylor family.
If the wide-ranging reports and this afternoon’s rally were any indication, Athletic Director Mack Rhoades found the right man to help us start the next chapter.
The afternoon’s festivities featured members of the Golden Wave Band, Interim President David Garland, Athletic Director Mack Rhoades, coaches from several other major sports (Sic ‘em Coach Drew & Coach Mulkey!), and most of the Baylor Football team.
Interim Head Coach Jim Grobe and his wife Holly received a standing ovation, which was well-deserved. Regardless of how this season panned out, Coach Grobe has been a class-act, and took on his role as part of the Baylor Family far better than anyone else could.
But the focus, naturally, was Coach Matt Rhule.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t need him to tell me he was a preacher’s son. It came off in the enthusiasm and passion he drove into every word. This is a man who listened to his father (also in attendance) preach a thousand sermons, and uses what he learned to inspire people. Instead of recapping everything he said, I encourage you to find a recording. It’s worth your time.
In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that I’m in. I think there are pieces that still need to fall into place, but I’m sold. He wasn’t my first choice - heck, he wasn’t even on my radar - but I think he is likely the best choice. He has a commitment to excellence that is inextricable from his faith, a passionate commitment to developing his players, and the character and charisma to make it happen.
As Kevin and I were leaving this afternoon’s rally, an older Baylor fan walked out the door just as a Waco-Trib reporter was asking us for our impression of today’s events. This gentleman walked up and said, “You’ve just seen the second coming of Grant Teaff.”
Coach, I and many others are squarely behind you. If there’s anyone who’s not - they will be soon.