Rhule's extension affirms commitment

When Matt Rhule was hired as the Temple head football coach two years ago to replace Steve Addazio, who departed after two seasons to become the coach at Boston College, it was done in part because the administration believed Rhule would be in it for the long-term. The school and coach affirmed that commitment when Rhule agreed to a four-year extension that will keep him at Temple through 2021.

When Matt Rhule was hired as the Temple head football coach two years ago to replace Steve Addazio, who departed after two seasons to become the coach at Boston College, it was done in part because the administration believed Rhule would be in it for the long-term.

The school and coach affirmed that commitment on Thursday when Rhule agreed to a four-year extension that will keep him at Temple through 2021.

"Matt Rhule is one of the best young coaches in college football and we are excited that he will be at the helm of Temple Football through at least 2021," announced Director of Athletics Dr. Patrick Kraft in a statement released by the school. "Matt has the program heading in the right direction, especially as we enter a very promising season on the gridiron, and we are confident that he is the right person to take the program to even greater heights."

Rhule came to Temple with Al Golden in 2006 and helped build the program from one of the worst in the FBS to one that played in a bowl for the first time in 30 years in 2009. Rhule worked his way up from position coach to offensive coordinator under Golden.

When Golden left to become the head coach at Miami (Fla.) in 2011, Rhule stayed on staff with Addazio and helped the Owls win the New Mexico Bowl.

After leaving for one season to become the assistant offensive line coach of the New York Giants, Rhule returned to take over as head coach at a place he considers home.

“I am thrilled to sign this extension and to know that I will continue to lead the program into the future,” said the 40-year-old Rhule in the statement. “I'm proud of our student athletes and all that they do and I look forward to continuing to lead and teach them for years to come. Temple has been my family's home since 2006 and I am honored to be able to serve the university as its football coach.”

After going 2-10 in his first season, Rhule lead the Owls to a bowl-eligible 6-6 mark last year, though they were not selected for a bowl game. With a strong returning nucleus which includes junior quarterback P.J. Walker on offense and senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich on defense, expectations are high beginning with the head coach.

“I don’t know what the time frame is, but my expectations with the kids is I expect to compete for championships here and it’s not a matter of if, it’s just when,” said Rhule. “We have a good team. They’ve all gotten better and we have tremendous, tremendous leadership. The recruits keep getting better.

“I expect us to play well this year and win at a high level and do better than last year, and then the next year I hope we’ll do better than that."

Rhule talked in a sitdown with the Owls’ beat reporters on Wednesday about some of his asssistants like Ed Foley, Phil Snow and Francis Brown who stayed at Temple despite being pursued by other schools.

Likewise, Rhule seems committed to Temple long-term as its head coach. While contracts in college football don’t mean a coach can’t pursue opportunities, Rhule’s extension appears to mean he will be around the campus into the next decade.

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