The Panthers have a new head man.
After dismissing coach Ron Rivera following a Week 13 loss to Washington, Carolina began searching for a replacement. That effort culminated in the hiring of Baylor coach Matt Rhule, per multiple Tuesday reports.
Sources: Baylor coach Matt Rhule finalizing a deal to become next coach of the Carolina Panthers.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 7, 2020
The #Panthers had a top two of Josh McDaniels and Matt Rhule. Owner David Tepper spent yesterday in Waco with Rhule and his family, and he heard enough. Rather than risk Rhule getting on the plane, he made a deal. Rhule is now Carolina’s coach.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 7, 2020
Rhule is reportedly receiving a seven-year deal which could amount to $70 million including incentives, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Panthers are giving former Baylor HC Matt Rhule a seven-year - seven year - deal worth $60 million that with incentives could be worth up to $70 million, per league sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2020
Rhule has a single year of NFL coaching experience as an assistant offensive line coach with the Giants in 2012. He has compiled a 19-23 record with Baylor, turning the program around from a one-win season in 2017 to an 11-win season in 2019. Baylor lost this year's Sugar Bowl to Georgia.
Widely regarded as a program-builder, Rhule helped reinvigorate Baylor football following the sexual assault scandal that rocked the program with sanctions. Rhule previously was the coach of the Temple Owls, where he led the team to consecutive 10-win seasons, the first time in program history.
Rhule was also atop the Giants list for their head coaching vacancy, and he recently turned down the opportunity to interview for the Browns' head coaching gig. The Panthers also had interest in Patriots offensive coordinator and former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels.
Rhule, 44, played college ball at Penn State as a linebacker in the 1980s.