Nebraska offers former Carolina Panthers coach Matt Ruhler Its open football coaching position, according to a source with knowledge of the talks. Here’s what you need to know:
- Rhule, 47, has been at or near the top of the Cornhuskers’ target list in recent weeks after being fired by the Panthers on Oct. 10. 10. Nebraska fired former coach Scott Frost in September. 11.
- Rhule landed the job earlier this month, and then Nebraska came back to him this week with a stronger package, sources said.
- The two sides are working to sort out the details; Nebraska is optimistic that a deal can be reached this weekend to name him as head coach.
- Mickey Joseph, the former Huskers associate head coach, served as Nebraska’s interim coach and led the Huskers to a 24-17 victory in the season finale at Iowa on Friday.
Talks between Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts and Rhule intensified this month, and transfer portal activity resumed in early December. The early signing period begins in two weeks.
Rhule returned to the program at Temple and Baylor from 2013 to 2019, winning 10 or more games in three of his seven seasons, and he was considered a home run by the outside world. He’s from New York and coached on the East Coast in addition to his stint as an assistant at UCLA and a season at Baylor, but he’s familiar with the Big Ten as a former Penn State linebacker.
Rhule also thrived in an unfamiliar environment in Texas, helping the Bears rebuild after a sexual assault scandal threatened to destroy the program.
His contract at Carolina also increases his appeal to Alberts. Rhule, who signed a seven-year, $62 million deal in 2020, was owed more than $40 million by the time the deal closed. Any salary his next employer pays Rhule will be deducted from the amount owed by the Panthers, so the plan can secure a relatively cheap deal in Rhule — for the first four seasons of his deal.
Nebraska finished the season 4-8 after beating Iowa. Alberts attended Iowa City. The sophomore Nebraska AD, from eastern Iowa, travels separately from the Huskers for the final game of the season. An introductory press conference for Rhule could be held as early as Sunday in Lincoln. Nebraska officials reserved the Eagles Championship Center for the recruiting event without direct direction from Alberts about the timing.
(Photo: Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY)